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• Education • Joining Organizations • Commercial Construction Client Spotlight • Fox Liquid Fertilizer Service


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MARCH 2018 Strictly Business



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

Great Brands That Compete On Value: Don’t Pass Up Print Sometimes in life, and in business, you just need to get back to the basics.

brand via a publication such as Dog Fancy than by receiving an email blast from an online marketing agency,” he notes.

As you might remember from my topic last month, I shared a blog post from Freeport Press, a fellow believer in the power of print. Shortly after reading that one, author David Pilcher delivered yet another piece that succinctly covers the key points that I too am persistent about driving home every chance I get. Fundamentally, it’s spot on, so this time around I’ll let it do the talking for me. Without further ado, I present for your consideration:

3. Print adds a boost to any digital campaign. “Savvy business owners know that implementing both digital and print advertising campaigns produces higher customer conversion rates,” he notes. In a multi-channel shopping environment, print adds a significant improvement to overall campaign success.

The Only Four Things You Need to Know About Print Ads No doubt, the magazine industry has been hit hard by the move toward digital advertising. As Don Potochny notes in SF Gate, “[Ad] Investments have gone digital mostly because the Internet provides businesses with an affordable way to promote products and services. However, online marketing needs the complementary power of print advertising to seal the advertising deal.” Why? We could cite study after study that shows that print is more effective at building trust, making good impressions, fostering engagement and other key indicators. Potochny, however, boils it right down. “Business owners have four reasons to keep print advertising as part of their marketing strategy,” he insists. 1. First, print ads convert better. “Nearly 80% of consumers act on direct mail advertisements compared to 45% of consumers that act on electronic advertisements,” Potochny says. 2. Print ads are highly targetable. Those perfectly targeted digital ads we were all promised are a properly-busted myth, but this kind of Marketing 101 targeting is possible in print. “For example, dog lovers that want to purchase healthy food for their canine friends are more likely to find the right

4. Consumers often feel more comfortable buying from print. This age of impulse buying might have us believe that online is the only way to shop, but in reality, print ads continue to perform well in purchase intent. It’s a good primer to remember, this 1-2-3-4 approach. Conversion, targeting, ROI boost and purchase intent just may be all the reason you need to advertise your brand in print magazines. In lieu of a dramatic mic drop close for Pilcher’s masterful delivery of the main points, I’d like to simply reiterate that there is SO much print can do for you. Whether your key objective(s) is/are branding, top-of-mind recognition, increased credibility, getting your desired results on a specific call to action, and even SEO and strengthening your online presence, contemporary content marketing strategies utilizing a combination of print and online platforms will achieve everything I’ve listed and more. All of the above makes quite a compelling case to get on board, give it a try and see for yourself.

“Business owners have four reasons to keep print advertising as part of their marketing strategy.”

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


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28 Non-Profit 34 Health






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16 River City Six 42 Fox Liquid Fertilizer Service 22 Sandler Training


37 Education 38 Joining Organizations 43 Commercial Construction 4 Strictly Business MARCH 2018

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THE ART OF MODERN FUNCTION Echo Systems is the residential and commercial automation division of Echo Group, Inc, which has roots in the community dating back more than 60 years, and has quietly emerged as the Midwest’s fastest-growing provider of professional electronic systems for homes, schools, offices, hospitals, hotels and houses of worship.

Their specialized services ensure they approach each individual client through the viewpoint of not selling the latest gadget, but rather finding the right technology and function to enhance life in the home or office. Part of that discovery process involves allowing clients to schedule an appointment for a guided tour of their 12,000 sq. ft., $2 million dollar Experience Center at their offices at 4315 S. 120th St. In the Experience Center, clients can stroll through this indoor “Street of Dreams”-caliber home and take in the incredible design, while trying to identify the locations of the hidden technology, lighting control and motorized shades throughout this full-sized “residence.” While moving from the kitchen to the bathroom, visitors might discover hidden TVs located within the walls and mirrors of the sink and shower. One of the marquee areas in Echo’s experience center is referred to as the “Man Cave,” which demonstrates a full rec-room audio/visual experience. A cutting-edge curved TV with video tiling allows you to view multiple broadcasts at once, with full, immersive sound and simple control from a handheld smart device or tablet in the wall. Just adjacent to the “Man Cave” is quite literally a million-dollar home theater. Luxury recliner theater seating, giant screen…it’s the picture of premier personal theater design. Doug Dushan, Sales Manager & Marketing Coordinator, would be quick to point out that even though the showroom features many high-end amenities and options, it is meant to simply be a tool for the imagination. At Echo Systems, it’s all custom. They work with each client individually to help establish a realistic budget and expectations. They will educate you to the level of your interest and will back it up with exceptional customer service and competent execution. Of greatest importance is the building of a relationship between Echo’s staff and their clientele. At the end of the day, with Echo Systems, it’s as much about usefulness as design: “The Art of Modern Function.”

Contact us today! | 402.334.4900 | 4315 S. 120th St., Omaha, NE

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BUSINESS NEWS JMISKO Becomes Only Facility Nationwide to Offer ARTAS 9x Robotic Hair Technology

NAWIC Observes Women in Construction Week March 4-10

JMISKO surgical design | md is proud to announce that, as of February 1, their Lincoln office is the only facility in the nation offering the ARTAS 9x system, the most upgraded hardware and software in robotic hair technology. Notable features include: • 20% faster operating speed, harvesting up to 1,500 grafts/hour, making the process more efficient and comfortable. • The robot uses a 0.8mm punch for increased harvesting accuracy, providing a more natural-looking end-result. • With an enhanced design including the ability to maneuver the arm position, a wider range of donor areas can be reached. It can also be easily paused/resumed with a touch of a button. The Hair Restoration division at JMISKO surgical design | md provides many different options for clients. These include: hair loss products, hair loss prescriptions, FUE transplant, FUT transplant, PRP/ACell, and of course the most popular, the ARTAS 9x robotic hair option. A hair/scalp analysis consultation performed by Justin Misko, MD is the best way for patients to discover which is/are best suited for them. Dr. Misko has over a decade of experience changing lives through hair restoration and utilizes the most innovative methods available to achieve optimal results. JMISKO surgical design | md is located at 14545 W. Center Rd. in Omaha and can be contacted at (402) 614-2797 / Find out more online at

The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) will celebrate Women in Construction (WIC) Week March 4-10, 2018. The focus of WIC Week is to highlight women as a visible component of the construction industry. It is also a time for local chapters to give back to their communities. WIC Week provides an occasion for NAWIC’s thousands of members across the country to raise awareness of the opportunities available for women in the construction industry and to emphasize the growing role of women in the industry. NAWIC’s mission is to enhance the success of women in the construction industry. “While there are more than one million women employed in the construction industry, women only comprise approximately ten percent of the construction workforce,” says Connie Leipard, the immediate past-president of NAWIC. “These women, whether they are administrative specialists, general contractors, subcontractors, trades people, or professionals, are vital elements to the construction process.” The Greater Omaha Chapter has many events planned to celebrate WIC Week, including community service, “Take a Young Woman to Work” day, networking events, distributing career information to local high schools, and a WIC Week Proclamation signing with Governor Pete Ricketts. Details can be found at Anyone interested in construction is welcome to attend and participate in all of the events.


Strictly Business MARCH 2018

BUSINESS NEWS Hillcrest Millard Provides Resort-Style Environment to Recover

University of Nebraska’s Online Programs Among Best in U.S. News 2018 Rankings

Nebraska’s largest post-acute care provider, Hillcrest Health Services, has opened an elite option for Omaha-area residents to recover after a surgery, injury or illness. At Hillcrest Millard, high-quality care is combined with resortlike amenities so guests can recover comfortably without sacrificing the luxuries of Hillcrest Millard, a short-term posteveryday life. acute rehab center, is now open in Omaha and accepting guests. Hillcrest’s new post-acute rehab center, Hillcrest Millard, is the organization’s first location in Douglas County. Hillcrest Health Services boasts more than 40 years of experience in senior health care. “We’ve had many customers come to Hillcrest’s Sarpy County locations from West Hillcrest Millard is one of the only in Omaha,” said Jim Janicki, the Midwest to feature a ceiling lift Vice President of Customer system in a post-acute setting. Navigation and Marketing. “This new location in Millard extends our footprint into Omaha and provides a more convenient post-acute rehab option for West Omaha residents.” As a dedicated short-term post-acute rehab center, Hillcrest Millard’s nursing and therapy teams are focused on helping guests recover and return to their previous level of independence as soon as possible. “Committed to enhancing the lives of aging adults, we’re excited to say our therapy team at Hillcrest Millard is led by one of the Midwest’s only occupational therapists with a board certification in gerontology,” said Brandi Petrik, Administrator of Hillcrest Millard. “Having an in-house therapy team and innovative strength training equipment specifically designed for seniors allows us to provide guests with consistent and reliable rehabilitative care to speed up recovery.” Guests typically receive services for 7 to 20 days, based on diagnosis and physician orders, before returning to the place they call home. “We’re actively partnering with hospitals to ensure smooth transitions with the goal of improving the recovery process and avoiding rehospitalizations,” said Dr. Tony Hatcher, Chief Medical Officer of Hillcrest Health Services. “We are also equipped to accommodate higher-acuity guests with 17 specialty guest rooms with piped-in oxygen.” From the private guest suites with private bathrooms, to the 132nd Street Bistro, proudly serving Starbucks® and grab-and-go options, to the made-to-order dining in the Boxcar Restaurant or in the comfort of a guest suite, Hillcrest Millard is truly a step ahead of the rest when it comes to post-acute rehab. Hillcrest Millard is located at 13225 Westwood Lane in Omaha. For more information or to learn about pre-planning your stay following an elective surgery, visit Hillcrest Health Services offers the region’s largest continuum of health services for aging adults, including independent and assisted living, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, long-term care, memory support, adult day services, certified skilled home health and in-home personal care, palliative care, telehealth services and hospice care. Hillcrest currently serves nearly 1,200 aging adults daily across 10 counties in Nebraska and Iowa. For more information, visit

Several University of Nebraska online programs were ranked by U.S. News 2018 Best Online Programs. The rankings showcase top programs that demonstrate strong academics and are well-suited for adults looking to further their education and improve career-related skills. The U.S. News & World Report rankings of “Best Online Programs” create a detailed comparison of quality online programs across the nation. Managing editor of education at U.S. News, Anita Narayan, said, “The Best Online Programs rankings offer adults the information needed to identify programs that best suit their life and career goals.” Online programs from all four University of Nebraska campuses earned a spot in the rankings. University of Nebraska at Kearney: No. 25 - Best Online Graduate Education Programs. University of Nebraska – Lincoln: No. 12 - Best Online Graduate Education Programs; No. 29 - Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs; No. 35 - Best Online Bachelor’s Programs; No. 42 - Best Online MBA Programs. University of Nebraska Medical Center: No. 58 Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. University of Nebraska at Omaha: No. 3 - Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs; No. 16 - Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. Visit for more information on the 125+ online programs offered from the University of Nebraska.

MARCH 2018 Strictly Business


BUSINESS NEWS Boyd Jones Achieves Safety Milestone in 2017 Boyd Jones is pleased to share they have maintained a record­able incident rate of zero in 2017. “This is a tremendous accomplishment in our industry,” said Jon Crane, President of Boyd Jones. “I’m incredibly proud of our hardworking people who made this possible and consistently put safety first. Reaching this achievement is a reflection of the excellent training our team receives and every­one’s daily commitment to our core value of safety.” In 2017, Boyd Jones invested in more than 500 hours of safety training with personnel working on projects spanning the Midwest region. That commitment to safety through regular training, communication, and teamwork is reflected in their excellent Experience Modification Rate (EMR), which has consistently outperformed the industry average by approximately 30% for more than 10 years. “We believe safety is everyone’s job,” noted Jared Jensen, Safety Director at Boyd Jones. “We encourage open communication and empower our teams to ask questions and speak up if they see the potential for an issue. Everyone has a stake in safety. There’s no task more important than going home safely to our family and friends.” “Safety is our number one value at Boyd Jones,” Crane concluded. “This achievement is proof that making safety a priority and investing in its success pays off.” For more information about Boyd Jones Construction, visit or contact the Omaha office at (402) 553-1804.

Join CRCC for Annual Fundraiser March 10th


Strictly Business MARCH 2018

CRCC, “formerly known as Children’s Respite Care Center,” is proud to announce The Heart and Art of Caring, a Silver Ribbon Event on March 10. CRCC is a team of uniquely skilled people who deliver comprehensive and compassionate services that help children with complex needs be all they can be … and give their parents real hope for the future. This year’s fundraiser will feature work by two remarkable artists, Jeffery Hanson and Therman Statom. These artists are committed to enriching the lives of others through their work. Jeffrey Owen Hanson is an award-winning, philanthropic artist on a mission to change the world through art. Visually impaired since childhood from neurofibromatosis, Jeffrey’s acrylic-on-canvas works employ bold color and heavily sculptured texture to create a striking signature style. Jeffrey’s commissioned paintings reside with art collectors around the globe, including Sir Elton John, Warren E. Buffett and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to name a few. His philanthropic spirit has resulted in more than 200 nonprofit organizations benefitting from his auctioned works. Artwork gifted to charity has generated over $3 million dollars! Next up: $10 million by the age of 30! ( Therman’s passion for inspiring children through art led CRCC to a summer camp workshop for children with special needs. Using media close to Statom’s heart, he chose to assist the children in producing tile art. The artist guided students to employ their imaginations and embrace fun during the process. Statom’s concept was to provide an engaging art activity in which each student could overcome challenges to create something of beauty. Art pieces from this collaboration will be for sale during the Silver Ribbon Event. ( For more information, contact Catherine Demes Maydew at (402) 895-4000 / or visit silverribbon2018.

BUSINESS NEWS Reverse Job Fair Coming to Council Bluffs Attention area employers and HR professionals who are actively recruiting and currently looking to fill key positions on their teams! A Reverse Job Fair will be held on March 21 at Abraham Lincoln High School in Council Bluffs, IA. Beginning at 11 a.m. with networking and lunch provided for participating employers, the fair will take place from 12-1:30 p.m. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet with job seekers who are looking to showcase their skills in the hopes of gaining full-time or parttime employment. Participants will have varying degrees of skill levels and are seeking entry level employment. This event is inspired by the Equal Employment Opportunity initiative. In a typical job fair, the employer sets up a display to talk with potential job candidates. In this fair, you can expect these eager job candidates to set up their own displays and be ready to discuss their resumes. It is being hosted in a collaborated effort by IowaWORKS, Vodec, Council Bluffs Community School District, Goodwill Industries, and Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services. Together, the goal is to help connect job candidates to employers looking to fill positions with qualified workers. If you wish to attend, please RSVP by March 14 to Kaylene Page with IowaWORKS at (712) 352-3480 Ext. 45111 / Kaylene.Page@iwd.

Local FASTSIGNS® Recognized Among Top Centers in U.S. FASTSIGNS® of Omaha – 114th St., a local sign and visual graphics provider, was recognized as a top performing center at the 2018 FASTSIGNS Convention recently held in Houston, Texas. O w n e d by B o b Danielson, FASTSIGNS Pictured (L-R): Andy Danielson, Mark Cullinane and of Omaha – 114th Bob Danielson received the CEO Circle Award at the St. received the CEO 2018 FASTSIGNS Convention presented by Catherine Circle Award, which Monson, CEO of FASTSIGNS International, Inc. recognizes the top 25 centers with the highest sales volume in the U.S. and Canada between October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017. “We are honored to be recognized as a top performing center in the FASTSIGNS network of over 675 worldwide locations,” Danielson said. “This award reflects our entire team’s hard work and dedication to helping businesses and organizations solve their visual communications challenges in our community every day.” FASTSIGNS of Omaha – 114th St. has been serving the area since 1989. The center is located at 751 N. 114th St. and is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. “We thank our customers for their support and look forward to continue helping companies of all sizes achieve their goals using comprehensive signs and visual graphics,” Danielson said. FASTSIGNS® of Omaha – 114th St. is a locally and independently owned and operated sign, graphics and visual communications company that provides comprehensive visual marketing solutions to customers of all sizes—across all industries—to help them attract more attention, communicate their message, sell more products, help visitors find their way and extend their branding across all of their customer touch points including décor, events, wearables, digital signage and marketing materials. To learn more, visit or call (402) 493-7960.

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium Theater Undergoes Renovation The Lozier Theater at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is upgrading its current projection system to a digital 3D projection system. The theater has been closed since January 15 and will re-open to the public on March 30. Upon completion of the renovation, the theater will be referred to as the Lozier Giant Screen Theater. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium has contracted D3D Cinema to lead its digital 3D projection system upgrade, which will include a new projection system, screen and sound system. A Christie xenon-illuminated 3-D 4K projection system will eliminate the need for film reels. The digital system will allow Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium to have easy access to a vast library of digital films. A premium QSC 5.1 surround sound audio system will also be used in the new theater. In addition to the technological upgrades, the Lozier Giant Screen Theater will have new seats, flooring and lighting.

Seminars Scheduled for Contractors Seeking to Expand Into Commercial Roofing Heartland International, Inc., a nationwide distributor of Conklin Commercial Roofing Systems, has announced the annual FAMILY 21 SPRING ROOFING SEMINAR being hosted in Shipshewana, Ind. March 8-9. This program is designed to help experienced contractors research the potential of expanding into commercial roofing. Presentations by experienced contractors from at least 15 states will be demonstrating the installation of the CONKLIN COMMERCIAL ROOFING SYSTEMS, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the introduction of the first elastomeric product, RAPID ROOF®, in 1977. Dennis Nun, President of Heartland International, says, “There is a need for qualified contractors and general contractors as well as those with experience in remodeling, siding, insulation and even commercial painting who have the essential experience to be trained as commercial roofing contractors installing our proven Conklin Roofing Systems. Today we have 12 commercial roofing systems for all types of buildings.” One-day programs will also be held mid-March and April in Kansas and Nebraska respectively. For more information or to attend any of these programs, e-mail or call (402) 430-7727. MARCH 2018 Strictly Business 9

BUSINESS NEWS Joe’s Karting Racing Parts and Tires to Open in Council Bluffs and Online Joe’s Karting in Council Bluffs is opening a sister company catering to circle track, drag racing, and street rod racers with car parts and tires. Joe’s Karting, an indoor go karting venue, is expanding their offerings with a sister store located inside the entertainment venue at 2121 S. 32nd Street in Council Bluffs. Joe’s Karting Racing Parts and Tires is currently going through a soft opening in which they will be taking orders and requests from racers to provide for their immediate needs. Joe’s Karting Operations Manager, Buddy Jones, who is entering his 25th year of racing, has been involved with and passionate about the local dirt track racing community for a number of years. He and Joe’s Karting owner, Rich Streif, saw a need for a local specialty parts store that offered online purchasing and support as well as a brick and mortar location. Streif and Jones have realized that the vast majority of area racers have your typical 9-5 type of occupations. Many are only able to put time into car repairs and upgrades at night and on the weekends. When they need parts or expertise, their progress is put on hold because they don’t have the resources they need, readily available. Joe’s Karting Racing Parts and Tires hopes to alleviate this frustration for local races who can come into the brick and mortar store as late as 10 p.m., as well as for the nationwide racing community with their soon to launch e-commerce store at While Jones and Streif work on the launch of their e-commerce store, customers will be able to find many of the items they need for circle track and street rod racing in stock at Joe’s. You can contact them via phone at (712) 256-5278 or email at racingparts@joeskarting. com to place your order.


Strictly Business MARCH 2018

Sutra Yoga & Meditation Now Open Sutra Yoga & Meditation officially opened its doors to the public last month, hosting a grand opening celebration and open house on February 2. Located in the heart of Rockbrook Village, Sutra is a new Yoga studio that is focused on spirituality and personal growth—offering classes in movement and stillness, which are all geared toward enhancing customers’ personal journey. Owners Denise Muller and Frank Wolfe are both experienced Yoga professionals with over 10 years of combined Yoga teaching experience. Both Denise and Frank have received their 200RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) certifications and are trained in Yin Yoga. In addition, Denise also has 200 hours in Meditation Teacher Training, while Frank has recently completed a Relax & Renew Level 1 Restorative Teaching course. In addition to their yoga and meditation practice, Sutra plans to host a community Acupuncture session one Saturday each month with licensed practitioner Maureen Feeney of River Point Acupuncture. Wolfe and Muller are also excited to be working with Project Pink’d, a local non-profit that helps women who are struggling with the emotional, physical and financial difficulties that come with a breast cancer diagnosis. Twice a week, their studio will host the “Love & Light” yoga series for breast cancer survivors, led by certified RYT 200 Yoga Instructor, Tonya Baker. For more information and to sign up for this complimentary program, please contact Penny Thomas with Project Pink’d Programs at Sutra’s regular business hours are Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 8:30 p.m., and weekends from 9 a.m. – noon. For more information, please contact Frank Wolfe at (402) 827-0432 / sutraomaha@ or visit

BUSINESS NEWS ABC News’ Ginger Zee to Headline 2018 Nebraska Science Festival Ginger Zee, chief meteorologist for ABC News, will share her professional – and personal – journey with natural disasters when she headlines the 2018 Nebraska Science Festival on April 20. As the face of ABC News’ meteorology team, audiences are familiar with Zee’s coverage of natural disasters, but the December 2017 release of her memoir, “Natural Disaster: I Cover Them, I am One,” also shined a light on the difficult personal path Zee traveled to becoming the first female chief network meteorologist at a network. Her visit to Omaha will highlight the sixth annual Nebraska Science Festival, scheduled for April 19-28. The festival features an array of science- and technology-related activities in communities across the state with the goal of making science accessible, interactive, relevant and fun for all ages. Zee’s presentation, to be held at Joslyn Museum’s Witherspoon Concert Hall in Omaha, is suitable for all ages. Tickets for the general admission seating will be released online at Event Brite (four per person) at noon on April 1 on a first-come, first-served basis; please check for more information. Although the April 20 presentation is free to the public, tickets are required for admittance when doors open at 6:30 p.m. The presentation will begin at 7:30 p.m. You can also sign up on the website to volunteer as an individual, community site or a science expo booth.

Goosmann Law Firm Named in Top 100 Fastest Growing Law Firms in U.S. The Goosmann Law Firm is proud to announce that they have been named on the 2nd Annual 2017 Law Firm 500 Award Honorees list as one of the fastest growing law firms in the United States. Goosmann was ranked No. 98 on the 2017 Law Firm 500 Award Honorees list showcasing the top 200 firms who have achieved significant growth in revenues over the past 3 years. Since 2014, the Goosmann Law Firm has expanded its team, culture, and offices at a pace some may call “fast” and “aggressive” with this award now proving the firm’s commitment to meeting client demand. CEO, Founder, and Managing Partner Jeana Goosmann started the firm in 2009 with a vision, defying the risks of starting her own firm. When the firm started, Goosmann had one attorney and an assistant. By 2014, the firm grew to a team of fourteen. Today, Goosmann has a team of forty and counting without any plans of stopping. Over the past 3 years, the firm has opened a boutique estate and business succession planning department within the full-service law firm, Goosmann Trust Law Counsel, and opened offices in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and most recently, Omaha, Nebraska in addition to their Sioux City, Iowa law firm office. Over the past six months, Goosmann has purchased and renovated another historic building at 501 Douglas Street, diagonally located across the street from their first location in downtown Sioux City. They also purchased a lot in Sioux Falls with plans to build a new office in 2018 on South Minnesota at the Grand Prairie entrance to accommodate the growing Sioux Falls team. The firm plans to expand throughout 2018 and will be actively recruiting to grow their team in all three office locations – Omaha, Sioux Falls, and Sioux City. To learn more about the Goosmann Law Firm, visit www.GoosmannLaw. com or call (855) 843-4531.

Area Companies Recognized for Excellence in Worksite Health and Wellbeing WELLCOM recently recognized more than 30 of the Midlands’ healthiest companies at its annual awards luncheon. Hosted by Malorie Maddox, WOWT (Ch. 6) evening news anchor, the luncheon featured a keynote address from Jessica Turner, a best-selling author and lifestyle blogger, on the topic of thriving in work and in life. This year’s ceremony also included a tribute to WELLCOM and WELCOA founder, William M. Kizer, who passed away in August at the age of 92. The Excellence in Worksite Wellness Awards Luncheon honors organizations for positioning wellness programs as a strategic business opportunity and making a difference in their employees’ lives. The 2017 awards recipients include: Governor’s Wellness Award - Large Grower: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska; C&A Industries, Inc.; Gallup; RDG Planning & Design; University of Nebraska Foundation. Small Grower: Diabetes Education Center of the Midlands. Large Sower: Bennington Public Schools; CHI Health; Dial Retirement Communities – Nebraska; Hyatt Global Contact Center – Omaha; Nebraska Organ Recovery; Omaha Performing Arts; Streck; Tenaska. Trek up the Tower Awards - Large Business Corporate Team Award: 1st Place: Berk Up – Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies/National Indemnity Company; 2nd Place: Mutual of Omaha; 3rd Place: Kiewit Corporation. Small Business Corporate Team Award: 1st Place: UNMC College of Allied Health Professions; 2nd Place: RTG Medical – Team RTG; 3rd Place: Interpublic Group. Global Centre for Healthy Workplaces - First Place – Small and MediumSized Category: Lincoln Industries. American Diabetes Association Health Champion Designation: Des Moines University; Diabetes Education Center of the Midlands; Fusion Medical Staffing; Lincoln Industries; National Information Solutions Cooperative; Nelnet; Midland University/Dodge County Head Start; Streck; University of Iowa; University of Nebraska Foundation; University of Nebraska at Omaha; WoodmenLife. American Heart Association Workplace Health Solution Award - Gold: Meredith Corporation. Silver: Creighton University; HDR; Omaha Steaks; Streck. Bronze: Hubbell Realty Company; Nelnet; University of Iowa; University of Nebraska at Omaha; Woodmen Life; Zoetis, Lincoln, NE. Early Adopter: Omaha Performing Arts; Signature Performance, Inc. American Heart Association’s Workplace Healthy Food and Beverage Golden Apple Award: Amphibious Medics; Clinton High School; Creighton University; Fusion Medical Staffing; Kearney County Health Services; Pharmacists Mutual Companies; Scranton Manufacturing Co.; Telligen; Union Pacific Railroad; Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa and South Dakota. For more information about WELLCOM or how your organization can apply for a worksite wellness award, please contact Rebecca Vinton, President and CEO, (402) 934-5795 or MARCH 2018 Strictly Business 11

BUSINESS NEWS Thrasher Announces New Scholarship Fund

Careerockit Launches Again in 2018

Local home repair contractor Thrasher is pleased to announce a new scholarship opportunity for students entering into, or continuing, their education. The Thrasher Redefine Scholarship Fund will award two $1,000 scholarships each year, one award given to a student seeking a 4-year degree, and one seeking a trade school degree.

Nebraska and Iowa’s largest, weeklong business/student collaborative learning initiative took place last month, creating 18,000 unique student experiences for more than 20 school districts, multiple universities and 140 organizations in six counties February 12-18. Careerockit (, a no-cost program of the Greater Omaha Chamber, creates opportunities and bridges connecting the business and educational community in order to meet current and future talent needs. Participating organizations provide students and young adults with opportunities to move along the learning pipeline, gain applicable knowledge and build excitement for growing career options in their home communities. Elementary through post-secondary students seeking engagement and information were paired with regional businesses and nonprofits. Experiences in Cass, Dodge, Douglas, Sarpy, Pottawattamie and Washington counties were custom-tailored to meet students’ needs, and were available in a variety of industries, spotlighting a host of careers. Now in its second year, Careerockit, which hosted 11,000 student experiences in 2017, has seen brisk program adoption by learners and businesses. Experiential learning – learning that helps build the kind of connections – is foundational to Careerockit and invites students to examine potential job paths, and assess career-readiness, through activities that transition theory into practice, spark curiosity and stimulate problem-solving. Sponsors such as Avenue Scholars, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska, Completely KIDS and Metropolitan Utilities District, along with participating educators, students and organizations, helped fuel this year’s Careerockit.

The scholarship was established to celebrate and expand upon Thrasher’s mission to redefine the construction industry. “To us, that means providing a remarkable homeowner experience, the best products and services, continually improving our craft as a team, and acting as an advocate for the community,” said Dan Thrasher, President, Thrasher. “But the message to ‘redefine’ can be embraced by anyone, and that’s the challenge we’re posing to the next generation by offering this scholarship.” The application process invites students from all walks of life to share their take on the “redefine” message and what it means to challenge the status quo and create impact in their own community, school or workplace. “We’re hoping to see creativity and sincerity in the applications we receive,” commented Jess Lightner, Content Manager, Thrasher, “and the tremendous potential we’ve seen within the youth in our own community gives me no doubt we’ll be inspired by the response.” The annual deadline for applications is always May 30, and students may learn more and apply online at www.gothrasher. com/scholarship.


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BUSINESS NEWS Helicopter Egg Drop Highlight of Spring Fling On Marc h 10 the Strategic Air Command and Aerospace Museum will hold a Spring Fling that will prove to be fun for the entire family. The Spring Fling begins at 10 a.m. with a helicopter flyover at the front entrance of the museum. The helicopter will drop thousands of eggs onto the grassy area and youth ages 10 and under will be invited to hunt and gather eggs. The kids will be separated into two age groups of up to 5 years old and 6-10 years old. The museum will then offer hands-on activities indoors until 12 p.m. Activities include a picture with the Easter Bunny, face painting, coloring contest raffle, and a make-and-take. For the coloring contest raffle, there will be an Easter basket given to the winner! Each contestant will receive a ticket for the drawing to be held at 11:50 a.m. after completing and hanging his or her picture. The outdoor egg hunt is free and general admission applies to those entering the museum. The Spring Fling event, Children’s Learning Center activities, and Energy Explorers exhibit are included with general admission. Guests must register in advance for the 12 p.m. Get Smart Saturday workshop. To learn more about displays, education programs, events, and exhibits at the museum go to

WMC Women’s Leadership Conference in Blossom for April Women on a Mission for Change (WMC) will hold its annual Women’s Leadership Conference on April 6 at Bellevue University in Bellevue, NE. This conference focuses on topics that inspire change in women and girls (ages 14-18), and provides strategies for attendees to set life-changing goals as well as motivation and inspiration to take their careers, health and nutrition, applied life skills, spirituality, and education to the next level to create c.h.a.n.g.e. Attendees will learn to transform themselves both physically and mentally; develop strategies to network with others to resonate their leadership skills; participate in lively discussions on how women are changing to reach their unique potential; gain tips on how to remain focused; understand how to maintain resilience when life introduces disruptions; and develop the skill of reinvention for better adaptability and happiness. The full day of leadership programming includes: • CAREERS: Beth Rosario, Human Resources Compensation Manager of First Data and Ashley Kuhn, Executive Vice President of White Lotus Group • HEALTH & NUTRITION: Amanda Chapin and Lisa Hansen, Dietitians for Eat Fit Go • APPLIED LIFE SKILLS: Susan Henricks, President & CEO of ICAN • SPIRITUALITY: Tara Peoples, Praise and Worship Leader at Eagle’s Nest Worship Center and Jeanette Ponce, Marketing Manager for Baker Hostetler LLP in New York City • EDUCATION: Lisa Utterbach, Executive Director of School Support and Supervision Community, Schools and Family Engagement for Omaha Public Schools and Keegan Korg, Lead Teacher of Digital Citizenship in Partnership with Common Sense Media Instructional Technology Team for Omaha Public Schools • LUNCHEON SPEAKER: Shonna Dorsey, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for AIM Institute For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit www.

Nationally-Renowned Freestyle BMXers to Perform at Cornhusker State Games NoWear BMX, a family-based BMX stunt team, will perform at the Cornhusker State Games Opening Ceremonies on Friday, July 20 at Seacrest Field in Lincoln. Headed by X-Games veteran and Lincoln native Karl Hinkley and having played fairs and half-time shows across the country, NoWear BMX may be best known for its growing complex near Unadilla. Professional and hobby riders from around the world have traveled to the complex, furthering its reputation as a must-ride destination in the international BMX community. The NoWear BMX performance highlights a lineup of entertainment including skydivers, fireworks, mascots, parade-of-athletes and the torchlighting by a mystery athlete. The ceremonies kick off 10 days of State Games competition—July 20-29—in more than 60 sports across venues in Lincoln, Omaha and surrounding communities. The Opening Ceremonies and pre-show SportFest meal are included in athlete entry fees. Each athlete and registered coach also receive a shirt and several sponsored giveaways. Those interested can register now at The Cornhusker State Games is conducted by the Nebraska Sports Council, which also conducts the NE150 Challenge, the Mud Run and the Pumpkin Run. Platinum partners include Farmers Mutual Insurance Co. of Nebraska, LinPepCo and Nebraska Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine. Opening Ceremonies sponsors include Nebraska Medical Association, Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau and Arby’s of Lincoln.

MARCH 2018 Strictly Business


BUSINESS NEWS SERVPRO® Extends PGA Tour Sponsorship Through 2020

Living in the Yellow Announces Upcoming Dates for Basic Pistol Course for Women

SERVPRO has extended its sponsorship with the PGA Tour through the 2020 season, retaining its designation as the official cleanup and restoration company of both the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour according Sue Steen, CEO of Servpro Industries, Inc. SERVPRO’s first event of the 2018 PGA Tour season has already teed up with the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course. Steen revealed that SERVPRO will have a presence at several PGA Tour tournaments in 2018, including The Players Championship and The TOUR Championship. “In addition, we plan to be involved with First Responder events throughout the PGA Tour year,” said Steen. “SERVPRO is a national leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services, but each SERVPRO Franchise is a local business, operated by a local business person with ties to the community he or she serves,” says Steen. “The wide and growing audience the PGA Tour commands will learn a SERVPRO professional is available in their local community, ready to respond at a moment’s notice if things go wrong at their home or business.” SERVPRO specializes in disaster restoration, cleanup and repair services, helping to remediate damage, making it “like it never even happened” for both commercial and residential customers. For more information on SERVPRO® in the Omaha Metro area, visit www. or contact Patrick Nosal (Omaha Southwest) at (402) 4080134 / or Pat Nosal (Sarpy County) at (402) 291-3355 or

Patty Nun, an NRA Trained Pistol Instructor, has announced the next Basic Pistol Course for Women being offered Saturday, March 24, 2018 is nearly full. The next class being offered in Lincoln will be on Saturday, September 22, 2018. This full-day class is for women who have little or no previous experience handling a pistol. Registration is limited to twelve participants.


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“Women are legitamately concerned for their safety. We all know there is no substitute for being prepared and aware of our surroundings to insure the safety of ourselves and our family members. That is the common theme of the training we do at Living in the Yellow,” says Nun. “This is a course for someone who has never held or fired a pistol and does not currently know the difference between a singleaction or double-action revolver, or even between a revolver and a semi-automatic pistol. We provide a relaxed setting where women can learn in a safe environment with a trained, professional team that always have safety as the priority.” She adds, “This does not qualify as a conceal carry course for women, but we plan to offer that later this year.” To find out more information or to register, go to www.LivingInTheYellow. org or call/text Patty Nun at (402) 432-6470.

BUSINESS NEWS 140th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade Set for March 10th

Jersey Mike’s Kicks off 8th Annual “Month of Giving” This Month

Join the Ancient Order of Hibernians Fr. Flanagan Division (AOH Omaha) for the first parade - and one of the best parades - of 2018! The 140th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade will take place Saturday, March 10 at 10 a.m. in beautiful Downtown Omaha. The energy and excitement of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the perfect way to start off the spring season! The parade will have many dignitaries, organizations, and groups representing the best of the Omaha area, including a Marine Color Guard, local police and firefighters, Miss Nebraska, Miss Douglas County, elected officials, drill teams, bands, creative floats, classic cars, and much more. Katie O’Connor, owner of O’Connor’s Irish Pub in the Old Market and a longtime supporter of AOH Omaha, will serve as grand marshal of the parade. Immediately following the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the public is invited to the AOH Omaha Post-Parade Party at the Old Mattress Factory (501 N. 13th Street) for some good Irish cheer! The Post-Parade Party will go from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be live Irish music from Connor Dowling, bagpipers, O’Dowd’s Irish Dance Group, corned beef, raffle prizes, and the Parade Awards Presentation. There is a suggested donation of $5 at the door. All proceeds from the Post-Parade Party will go to Irish Charities of Nebraska. Visit for more information. Check out AOH Omaha on Facebook and Twitter.

Three local charities are joining forces with four Jersey Mike’s restaurants in the Omaha area for the 8th Annual March “Month of Giving” campaign. During the month of March, customers can make a donation to: Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, your Children’s Miracle Network Hospital (two Omaha locations); Bellevue Public Schools Foundation (Bellevue location); Sarpy Community YMCA (Papillion location). The campaign will culminate in Jersey Mike’s “Day of Giving” on Wednesday, March 28, when local Jersey Mike’s restaurants will give 100% of the day’s sales – not just profit – to the partner charities. On Day of Giving, local Jersey Mike’s owners and operators throughout the country will donate their resources and every single dollar that comes in to more than 170 different charities including hospitals, youth organizations, food banks and more. Last year’s Month of Giving campaign raised more than $5.5 million for local charities nationwide. An astounding $4.6 million of that amount was raised on Day of Giving alone. Since 2010, Jersey Mike’s locations throughout the country have raised more than $28 million for worthy local charities and distributed more than 2 million free sub sandwiches to help numerous causes. For more information about Jersey Mike’s Subs Month of Giving, please visit

Nebraska Home Appliance Wins Most Professional Servicer Award During this year’s Annual Service Training Institute convention in January, Nebraska Home Appliance (NHA) was voted to receive the Most Professional Servicer award for appliance repair companies. The award recognizes a company with exceptional business representation in four categories: Technician Uniform, Service Vehicle, Storefront, and Online Presence. “We’ve put a lot of thought and effort into the service we provide and how we present ourselves to our customers over the past few years, and we are so proud and excited to see those efforts recognized with this award,” said Todd Daganaar, president of Nebraska Home Appliance. Nebraska Home Appliance completed a rebrand of their company image in 2012 to strengthen brand equity through unified messaging, repetition, and frequency. The company stakeholders realized that NHA was more than just a service and parts business. “It was our differentiators that needed to be celebrated to our customers, so that’s how we approached revitalizing our company image to the ‘Hometown Hero’–a theme focused on how our techs maintain strong relationships with customers and provide an exceptional service experience,” said Todd. The application of the “Hometown Hero” image and message was applied across the company’s various modalities including website, social media, uniform design, vehicles, customer materials, and store signage. The consistency with which the company has used its brand was a significant component in winning the recognition from their fellow industry peers. Family owned and operated since 1988, Nebraska Home Appliance is a staple in the Omaha community, providing fast and reliable appliance repair, maintenance and parts for all major brands. The company is located in Cedarnole Plaza at 310 S. 72nd Street. For more information, visit or call (402) 399-0202.

Scooter’s Coffee Ranked a Top Franchise in Entrepreneur’s Latest Franchise 500 Scooter’s Coffee, the Midwest-based coffee franchise that has experienced tremendous nationwide growth over the past year, is receiving recognition as one of the country’s premiere franchises in Entrepreneur magazine’s recently released Franchise 500. Scooter’s Coffee landed at #414 on the coveted list that ranks companies for outstanding performance in areas including unit growth, financial strength and stability, and brand power. A dedication to “Amazing People, Amazing Drinks… Amazingly Fast!”™ helped propel Scooter’s Coffee into the highly sought-after honor. Entrepreneur received more than 1,000 applications. Over its 39 years in existence, the Franchise 500 has become both a dominant, competitive measure for franchisors and a primary research tool for potential franchisees. Scooter’s Coffee’s position on the ranking is a testament to its strength as a franchise opportunity. “Since our inception 20 years ago, Scooter’s Coffee has always believed we had a great concept and product with considerable opportunity to build a meaningful and sustainable brand,” says Todd Graeve, CEO. “Our franchise owners consistently represent the best of what Scooter’s Coffee has to offer, and we cherish the great relationships and successes we have all enjoyed. It is extremely gratifying for Scooter’s Coffee to be recognized by such a distinguished publication like Entrepreneur.” The key factors that go into Entrepreneur’s evaluation include costs and fees, size and growth, support, brand strength, and financial strength and ability. All franchises are given a cumulative score based on more than 150 data points, and the 500 franchises with the highest cumulative scores become the Franchise 500 in ranking order. To view Scooter’s Coffee in the full ranking, visit Results can also be seen in the January/February issue of Entrepreneur, available on newsstands now. Scooter’s Coffee is at the dawn of a strategic growth phase in the Midwest and nationwide. The U.S. coffee market is an estimated $48 billion a year recession-resistant industry, and Scooter’s Coffee is striving to become the #1 drive-thru coffee franchise in the nation. Visit to learn more about the benefits of owning a franchise of a well-established company. MARCH 2018 Strictly Business 15

BUSINESS NEWS Veterans in Business Forum Announces Upcoming Meetings The Veterans in Business Forum (VIBF) meets the first Friday of every month (0800-0900). Their next meetings will be held 2 March and 6 April at the College of Business Administration, Mammel Hall – Room 215, 6708 Pine Street, Omaha, NE 68182. March’s meeting will feature guest speaker, Richard “Rick” Rice, Principal at Proposals2Win. Rick will provide a brief “Introduction to Government Request for Proposals (RFPs).” Guest speakers for April include Jim Reiff of the Nebraska Enterprise Fund and Ron Hernandez from Moving Veterans Forward. The mission of the VIBF is to provide business support, education and advocacy to help veterans succeed in business and increase community awareness of veteran-owned business activities. Veterans, active duty, reservists and civilians are welcome to join and support each other and veteran-related goals. For the latest information, to be a guest speaker, and/or to be added to the mailing list, visit VeteransinBusinessForumOmahaNetworking or contact Michel Thornhill at (402) 932-7243 /

2018 Marks 25th Anniversary of ICAN Women’s Leadership Conference ICAN (Institute for Career Advancement Needs) is celebrating 25 years of its iconic ICAN Women’s Leadership Conference on Tuesday, May 15, presenting a theme true to ICAN’s mission and values - Regarding: Authentic Leadership (Re:AL).  Following an early sellout in 2017, ICAN has opened up more than 200 additional seats for the 2018 conference due to popular demand. Nearly 2,800 businesswomen, and businessmen, from around the country will fill the CenturyLink Center for the conference, which promises a day of real talk about what it takes to be an authentic leader in the workplace of today and tomorrow - and how authenticity maximizes business and career potential.  This year’s speaker line-up features nationally recognized voices that will inspire attendees on multiple aspects and lenses of authenticity through business and community leadership.   Additionally, the 2018 ICAN Leadership Award, presented in partnership with Kiewit, will be announced on the main stage at the conference. ICAN’s Women’s Leadership Conference will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Doors will open at  6:45 a.m.  for registration, exhibit viewing and a light breakfast. Conference partners include Methodist Health System, Conagra Brands, Gallup, Bank of the West, Union Pacific Railroad, Emergenetics International and Kiewit.


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Visit to register and for full event details, a full listing of current conference partners and more information to get involved as a volunteer, exhibitor, or attendee in the following ways: *Volunteer roles are available both the day prior and day of the conference in half-day shifts. Volunteers are welcome to enjoy part of the conference when they are not volunteering free of charge. *Exhibit booths  are available for vendors, retailers and organizations. *Financial scholarships  will be available, provided by Bank of the West. Applications will be available online in early March.

BUSINESS NEWS CBSHOME Unveils New Brand Identity CBSHOME Real Estate, a leading real estate brokerage serving the Omaha Metro area, has refreshed its classic and iconic brand identity. As part of its 20th anniversary, and based on extensive research, the company recently unveiled its new logo. Consumers began seeing the new brand identity across Omaha and the surrounding communities beginning January 17. A new logo with a modern color scheme and typeface, a new marketing tagline “Bring it home” and website ( carry the company’s renewed brand promise of delivering an exceptional real estate experience. “CBSHOME is celebrating our 20th anniversary; making it the perfect time to revamp our brand and messaging to both agents and consumers. The brand change reflects the culture of CBSHOME and supports our team of professionals with the shared vision of creating success for themselves, their team and their clients,” said Scott Vogt, President and CEO. In conjunction with the rebrand, CBSHOME is launching a fullyresponsive and updated website experience. The newly revamped provides the same search experience on all devices, allows consumers to save favorite properties, view market statistics and provides a better overall consumer experience. “We’re building on our existing brand and moving CBSHOME forward. We are fortunate that we have the flexibility to update our identity and give ourselves a fresh look,” concluded Vogt. CBSHOME Real Estate is a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate and a whollyowned subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc. HomeServices of America, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, is the second largest full-service residential real estate brokerage firm and the largest settlement services provider in the United States. For more information, visit

Nebraska Statewide Arboretum Presents Spring Affair April 27-28 T h e N eb ra s k a S t a t ew i d e Arboretum is excited to announce its Spring Affair, the Midwest’s largest plant sale and gardening event, will be held April 27-28. One of the longest-running plant events in the nation, 2018 will mark its 32nd anniversary. Sponsored by the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum, Spring Affair offers and promotes regional plants. Held at the Lancaster Event Center, more than 700 varieties of plants will be available, including perennials, herbs, and grasses from Bluebird Nursery, Inc. of Clarkson, NE, and trees and shrubs from the Arboretum. All of the plants are selected for regional sustainability, uniqueness, and demand. For those who wish to preview the plant selection, the Spring Affair Preview Party will take place on the evening of Friday, April 27. This ticketed event, with a meal served from 6-8 p.m. and plant sale 6-9 p.m., gives plant lovers a chance to enjoy a sit-down meal with gardening friends, live music and a chance to purchase plants with a wine glass in one hand and a basket in the other, before the Saturday sale. Then, on Saturday, April 28 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. the sale will be open to the public, with guests enjoying free parking and admission. For more information, visit or contact the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum at (402) 472-2971 / arboretum@

Division of Parallel Technologies Earns Siemens Solution Partner Status Parallel Technologies, an industry-leading reliable data center and intelligent building solutions company, recently announced its building technologies division has been approved as a Siemens Solution Partner for the states of Nebraska and Minnesota. The Siemens Solution Certification Partner status is a reflection of Parallel Technologies’ commitment to delivering Building Automation and Intelligent Building services. As a recognized Siemens Solution Partner, Parallel Technologies has demonstrated the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully implement Siemens building automation technology to help companies build safe, secure, energy-efficient environment-friendly buildings and infrastructures. Companies selected for this program have proven their expertise, performance, and knowledge in all aspects of the business. “Being named a Siemens partner is another validation of our commitment to delivering best-in-class building engineering and consulting services,” said Dale Klein, President and CEO of Parallel Technologies. “To partner with Siemens allows us to expand our footprint in helping companies develop an intelligent building roadmap for their business needs.” The Siemens partnership follows on the heels of Parallel Technologies’ acquisition of an Omaha, Nebraska-based Building System Solutions in June of 2017. Through the acquisition, Parallel Technologies expanded its HVAC and building controls capabilities and inherited a reseller relationship with Siemens for its Talon Building Control System. Today, Parallel Technologies’ Intelligent Building division offers HVAC and building control, physical security, audio visual, intelligent LED lighting, structured cabling, digital signage, wireless infrastructure, distributed antenna systems and managed services. Visit www.ptnet. com for more information.

MARCH 2018 Strictly Business



Jim Brown

FIVE NINES Meet Jim Brown, Service and Implementation Project Manager at Five Nines. Tell us a little about your business. - Five Nines was founded in 2006 on an intense desire to solve problems and build long-term relationships with clients by leveraging technology to drive business success. With offices in Lincoln, Omaha and Kearney, our organization advises the best IT solutions for Nebraska-based businesses through Managed IT Services and a unique service model to accelerate client growth. How did you get started in the business? - After completing my degree in electronics from DeVry, I went directly into field service support and have spent the past 24 years focused on customer service. I have always enjoyed both the mechanical and technical aspects of service, spending time in the fields of emerging office technologies and banking systems before moving into IT managed services with Five Nines. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - While my kids were still young and I was working full time, I went back to school to earn a business degree from Bellevue University. At the time I managed multiple teams spread across five states. Balancing my roles at work, family and school without letting any of them suffer was a huge challenge. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - I received a “9” award, designated by the executive team at Five Nines to acknowledge employees they believe deserve special recognition. It was humbling to receive this, as only a limited number are awarded each year. I was grateful because developing my employees is a top priority. I put a lot of effort into removing roadblocks for them. Their comments with the award showed that they see and appreciate my dedication. Tell us a little about your family. - My wife, Jennifer, and I have been married for 20 years. We have two awesome kids, Bailey (16) and Caiden (15). Both are on the honor roll while remaining active in athletics and the arts. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - I love to spend time with my family. We enjoy boating, traveling, and being outdoors. Fishing and hunting are also high on my list. In the winter, I like to work on home improvement projects. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - Always come from a place of trust. If you had a theme song, what would it be? - Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey. Not only am I married to a small-town girl, but my life philosophy is based on hope and looking towards the future. It also brings to mind my core faith as a Christian. If you could have a super power, what would it be? - I would love to go back in time so I could relive special moments in my life. I would want to savor and appreciate them even more than I did the first time. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - I am on the board for Habitat for Humanity in Washington County. We are building a new house in my hometown of Blair. I am really appreciative of this experience because it allows me to use my skills to help others. What is your favorite local restaurant? - PF Chang’s because my daughter Bailey has Celiac disease. Not only is the food great, but it is one of the few places she can safely eat gluten free.


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If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? - Phone: (402) 219-4910; Email:; Website:


Michelle O’Dea

DOMESTI-PUPS Meet Michelle O’Dea, Executive Director of Domesti-PUPS. Tell us a little about your organization. Domesti-PUPS is a nonprofit organization based in Lincoln, Nebraska that provides therapy dogs and service dogs for persons with disabilities statewide and beyond. How did you get started in the business? - I’ve had a passion for dogs since childhood. My professional direction was marketing and advertising, but I never lost my passion for animals, and wanted a way to incorporate them. A request for an animal’s assistance springboarded me to start this nonprofit 18 years ago. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Dealing with a disability and still maintaining my personal and professional life. My body does not always cooperate with my plans, so I’ve learned to adapt. I have used a wheelchair and a service dog in the past, but luckily, today I’m on my own two feet without assistance. What has been your most important achievement professionally? Building a nationally-known nonprofit organization, although I can’t take much more credit than implementing an idea. The organization grows organically, as people find their own passions within our mission, and the talented volunteers keep the momentum going. Tell us a little about your family. - I got married for the first time at the age of 50. Never say never! I now have wonderful children and grandchildren, and of course the furkids: Jasper, a 4-year-old Berndedoodle, and Emmett, a 6-month-old Bengal kitten. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? Reconnecting with the love of my life after 30 years. I can now say that my heart and soul are at peace. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - On those rare occasions, I like to sleep in, travel, find new and interesting restaurants, or spend quality time with my husband. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - People are surprised to find out Domesti-PUPS is not my day job. It is a volunteer position I do outside of my full-time job. What are you the most proud of? - My greatest accomplishments are the successes of others. For me, that’s been empowering an inmate to learn a new skill and think beyond themselves for the greater good or training a dog well enough to provide lifesaving measures, allowing a disabled individual to lead a more independent life. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - I was complaining about missing a deadline, and a coworker said to me, “In the whole scheme of life, how important is this one thing?” That statement took my breath away, and I looked at life much differently after that. If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Determined. What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life? - Not to boast, but I’m pretty good on the target range. Needless to say, most don’t make fun of my pink-camo 22! What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? - My favorite is Don’t Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor. It’s the ‘bible’ for using positive training methods instead of punishment for dog training. If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - Robin Williams. Not for his humor (although that would be a bonus), but for the kind and intellectual side of knowing him. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? Email:; Website:

MARCH 2018 Strictly Business



Adam Pospisil



Strictly Business MARCH 2018

Meet Adam Pospisil, Tile Installer and General Laborer at Modern Concepts Tile, who is currently doing his apprenticeship with the company. Tell us a little about your business. - Modern Concepts Tile is a locally owned and operated contractor specializing in custom design tilework for residential and commercial projects. We perform jobs all across Nebraska and beyond, ranging in size and scope from ornate backsplashes or new flooring to full-scale home renovations. Nothing is too big or too small. We’re best known for our distinctive designs and superior installation. How did you get started in the business? - One day a friend of mine who is a tile setter asked me if I would like to help him with a job he was doing. I quickly discovered that I really enjoyed the work and wanted to pursue it further. I ended up working at the same job site as the guys with Modern Concepts Tile, and after discovering they were looking to bring on a new employee, I applied right away, was given the opportunity and the rest is history! What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - Learning a completely new trade. I set high standards for myself and want to get to the point where I’m doing it masterfully and efficiently right away, but it’s a process and takes time, which can be frustrating. What has been your most important achievement professionally? Along the same lines, being able to consistently pick up something new quickly, retaining a lot of information that I’m taught and applying it to executing the task at hand, whatever that may be. Tell us a little about your family. - I’m originally from a small town called Creighton, NE, and that’s where all my family is at so I go back there as often as I can to see them. We’re very close and all get along very well. I am the youngest of two kids, and now the proud uncle of two amazing nephews. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? When I decided to get out of the bar business and sales industry and try something completely different. I was a bartender for 14 years and in sales for 10 years. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - You will find me out on the golf course. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - When I was born I had three holes in my heart and needed to have a pacemaker. I’ve had 3 heart surgeries already in my 33 years of life. What are you the most proud of? - My family for always supporting me in everything I do. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - It was from my uncle, who told me that there isn’t anything so bad that a little good doesn’t come out of it. If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Legendary. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - The Special Olympics. I volunteer for the golf events in the summertime and these kids are just so talented and amazing to be around. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Barrett’s Barleycorn Pub & Grill. If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - Patrick Swayze. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? At (402) 321-6085 or via the Modern Concepts Tile Facebook page.


Hannah Hundley

STRICTLY BUSINESS Meet Hannah E. Hundley, our new Executive Assistant at Strictly Business Magazine! How did you get started in the business? - I graduated from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln in May of 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality, Restaurant, and Tourism Management. I’ve always had a passion for promoting local business. So, along with my experience in event planning and marketing, the Executive Assistant position with Strictly Business seemed like the perfect fit. I’m looking forward to building relationships with individuals and businesses in both Omaha and Lincoln. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - After college, I moved to Broken Bow, Nebraska to become the Events Director for their Chamber of Commerce. Not only did I not know anyone who lived there, I didn’t know anything about living in a rural community either. It was challenging to adjust but I gained a lot of valuable experience. From planning a new outdoor concert series in the downtown square to putting on the town’s first Color Run—my position allowed me to grow a lot in my professional and personal life. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - I feel very honored to have been chosen for the positions I’ve held thus far in my career, including my new position with Strictly Business Magazine and my previous position with the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce. In addition, during my time at UNL, I was given the opportunity to intern for the Nebraska Tourism Commission. I was very proud to represent Nebraska on that level and I made many connections throughout the state. I was also selected as co-chair of UNL’s The Big Event, coordinating a day of service with 3,000 student volunteers participating citywide. It was extremely rewarding to oversee the executive committee that put on this event for the entire student body, impacting residents and community organizations in Lincoln. Tell us a little about your family. - I have two wonderful parents, David and Sue, and three equally wonderful younger brothers: Joseph, Daniel, and Lazarus. We have called Lincoln home for about 15 years. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - I love spending time outdoors, especially with friends and family. I also enjoy reading and writing. What is something special or interesting about yourself that you would like people to know? - I am a child of God! Saved by grace, through faith. I’m constantly humbled by the Lord’s love for me. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - To never base my worth on the things of this world—my identity is in Christ Jesus! If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Passionate. What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life? - Giving back massages. If you had a theme song, what would it be? - I don’t know... probably something country. If you could have a super power, what would it be? - To be able to eat all the yummy food I want and not gain any weight. Which talent would you most like to have? - Singing. What is your favorite movie? - I’m a big fan of The Lord of the Rings. What is your favorite TV show? - Parks and Recreation. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Blue Sushi Sake Grill. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? Office: (402) 466-3330; Email: MARCH 2018 Strictly Business



Donna Retherford



Strictly Business MARCH 2018

Meet Donna Retherford, owner of Kangen Water® of Omaha, LLC. Tell us a little about your business. - Kangen Water® of Omaha is all about sharing Kangen Water® with others, and educating on all of the benefits, because it is about so much more than just “drinking water.” In many instances, it’s life changing for people. Our systems transform tap water into pure, healthy, electrolyzedreduced and hydrogen-rich drinking water. They provide access to the freshest and healthiest water every day, with properties that reduce inflammation, create glowing skin, aid in athletic performance, and skyrocket antioxidant production to help you stay healthy. You will feel better and look younger longer while doing your part to be more ecofriendly and reduce the amount of plastic bottles in our landfills – that is all part of the package. How did you get started in the business? - I was in Dallas working on a project about two years ago and complained to a friend about how bad the water was there. Consequently, I was buying a lot of bottled water, so when my friend shared with me some information about Enagic® and Kangen Water®, I checked it out, did a lot of research and went to the Enagic® regional office there in Dallas and watched a “live” educational workshop. Needless to say, I was so impressed that I bought my first Enagic® machine and became a Global Distributor. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - When I first started sharing Kangen Water®, getting people to understand why they should care about water was a challenge. I learned that not all water is the same and that the absolute best water isn’t the water from your kitchen faucet, a filtered pitcher, the filter on your refrigerator, or even the office cooler. And, it’s certainly not the high-priced water in plastic or fancy glass bottles at the grocery store, either. Now when I demonstrate the differences in the waters, they can actually experience Kangen Water® with their own senses and it becomes a game-changer. What has been your most important achievement professionally? Becoming an entrepreneur and starting my own business. Initially, I worked on project financing and small business loans. Then, about a year ago I decided to do Kangen Water® and opened a storefront so I could touch more lives with sharing Kangen Water®. Tell us a little about your family. - I have one amazing daughter, Jamie, and five awesome grandchildren - Christopher, Nicholas, Angelina, Mateo and Audrianna - who are all the “Wind Beneath My Wings.” I also have two “fur babies” - a dog, DeNar, and a cat, Bella, who are best buds the majority of the time! What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - Believing in myself when I took that leap of faith, stepped out of my comfort zone and followed my entrepreneurial spirit. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - Anytime the weather is nice, you can find me outdoors enjoying life. I also love spending my days off making memories with my daughter and grandchildren. What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - Chariots 4 Hope. They are faith-based and I love that their mission is to empower low-income families and individuals by teaching them to reach and maintain self-sufficiency through vehicle ownership. What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? - The Bible is my all-time favorite. What is your favorite local restaurant? - Charlie’s on the Lake and Millard Roadhouse. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? Phone: (402) 938-4267; Email:; Websites: /


Ken Noecker

HOME NURSING WITH HEART Meet Ken Noecker, a Physical Therapist Assistant at Home Nursing With Heart. Tell us a little about your business. - I work with a great team of professionals at Home Nursing With Heart. It’s a local company started by Julie Laughlin, a nurse who saw a need in the community for home health care services. Her company continues to grow and expand, now offering all the following services: nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and social work. I am on the physical therapy team. How did you get started in the business? - I worked as a therapy tech and went back to school as a non-traditional student at UNO and Clarkson College. After graduating from PTA school I worked in outpatient rehabilitation for 18 years. I joined Julie’s home health care team 7 years ago. What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? - The health care environment is constantly changing and requires the ability to change with it through continuing education. What has been your most important achievement professionally? - As a non-traditional student I take pride in the completion of my degree while raising a family. Tell us a little about your family. - I have 3 wonderful children who are now young adults; I treasure them every day. My beautiful wife and I were married in 1986 and still going strong! I was raised in a small town in northeast Nebraska in a farming community with my 11 other siblings, all of whom I love dearly. My awesome mother is 83 and is absolutely beautiful after raising 9 boys and 3 girls. She has weathered the storm, indeed. What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? - When my children were born. What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? - A day spent hiking somewhere warm with my family is a great day! Playing music with my bandmates on the weekend is another favorite. I really don’t get to do it enough. What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? - I play bass guitar and sing in a rock ‘n’ roll band, Quazy. We’ve played together since high school. What are you the most proud of? - I am very proud of my family and their accomplishments, the care I provide through my work, and my band being inducted into the Nebraska Rock n Roll Hall Fame in 2007. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? - You can’t just wish it; you’ve got to work for it. If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? - Loyal. If you had a theme song, what would it be? - Stay Free by The Clash. If you could have a super power, what would it be? - To control the weather like Mother Nature! What local non-profit organization(s) are you passionate about or involved with, and are there any special reasons why? - Both of my daughters work for non-profit organizations, Grief’s Journey and Fontenelle Forest, so they definitely have my support too.  What is your favorite local restaurant? - M’s Pub. If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? - I think Keith Richards would be fun. I’m currently reading his memoir, Life. If our readers would like to contact you, how should they do so? –-Office: (402) 614-4622; Website:

MARCH 2018 Strictly Business



by Karl Schaphorst, President


If You Want to Win, Try Losing

“I really can’t say that what you’ve shown me, Bob, does anything for me,” stated the prospect. “In fact,” he went on, “your choice of colors is nowhere as extensive as your competitor’s, who was just in here this morning by the way.” Bob hated this type of prospect. And for some reason, the past five months had been filled with them. Oh no, thought Bob, this is going to be one of those meetings where he raises the hundred objections and I try to beat them down one after another. There’s got to be a better way to make a living. “I didn’t know you were seeing her,” responded Bob. “Well, it’s what I should do. And I’ll tell you this now, right up front, her prices are extremely favorable. I doubt you could beat them.” Here goes, thought Bob, start knocking them down. “Let’s talk about the colors; our colors are by far the...” Two hours later, Bob crawled out of the office with a signed purchase order. Totally exhausted, he got into his car, called the office and read them the order. “Good work,” the sales manager responded, “but how come he’s ordering less than before?” “The competition has got a proposal on the table,” responded Bob, “you wouldn’t believe what I had to do to get what we did.” With a feeling of dread he added, “I’m going back in next week to see if I can knock them out.” No one can fault Bob for his dedication to task. And most salespeople and sales managers would agree that in the above story, which happens every day, there was nothing else to do but “gut it out.” But there is something else. Before Bob launched into meeting every objection, he could have done something very simple. He could have said, “You might not realize what you are telling me; I want to make sure that I have it right. The competition has more colors, the price is good, they were here this morning, I guess it’s over for me. When you gave the order to the salesperson this morning, was she excited?” And then wait for a response from the prospect, no matter how long it takes. Bob was so afraid that he was going to lose the client that he was prepared to do just about anything to keep him. Bob had the guts to spend another two hours butting heads, but he did not have the guts to find out if he really needed to do this. Taking a sale away, taking yourself out of the running, and then waiting for a response from the prospect/ customer takes real guts. This is not a technique for those with weak knees. In order for this technique to work, you really must be prepared to walk out the door and not look back. If you cannot do this, this technique will blow up in your face. However, if you are truly prepared to walk away, this technique is incredibly powerful at eliminating objections. There are a multitude of words and gestures that you can use to “take it away” depending on what you are trying to accomplish and with whom. Customers and prospects alike are famous for stating, in so many words, that the other guy can do better for less. In essence, you want to mirror back to them what they just told you and then state, not ask, “You did place the order.” Then do not speak until you get a response. Either the order has been placed or not. If it has, it probably really is over for you. If it hasn’t, then you deserve to know the reasons why. And when you find out why, you are now learning what you need to do to get the order or keep the order. Prospects who have given all the indications of being ready to buy, but who just resist closing, are especially susceptible to having it taken away. “Bill, you have given every indication that you are ready to buy. But for some reason you just aren’t sharing, you keep stopping short. I think I should leave.” Then wait for a response. Take it away ONLY if you are prepared to walk out the door. In other words, if you want to win, try losing!


Strictly Business MARCH 2018

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

PERSONNEL NEWS UNICO Group Appoints Tom Champoux as President, Announces New Board Leadership

Douglas County Health Center Hires Todd Stubbendieck as First-Ever COO

U N I C O G ro u p, a 2 0 1 6 “ To p Performing Agency” national award recipient headquartered in Lincoln, NE, is pleased to announce the appointment of Tom Champoux as its new President. Tom Champoux Scott Nelson “I have been at UNICO for over 16 years and have always loved the people and the opportunity that comes with being a part of this agency. I am one of those rare and luc ky people who has found work that Ryan Swinton Shane Ideus fulfills my purpose,” said Champoux. To m h a s m o r e than 23 years of risk management and consulting experience. He will be holding a dual role as President and continuing to ser ve as a Risk Consultant to his Ric Stoakes Neal Lyons clients. After serving as President for over 25 years, Scott Nelson’s term has ended, but this isn’t the end of his journey with the agency. Scott will continue to guide, encourage and support our growing team. “I Joseph Roberts Bob Reynoldson am so thankful for the love and support this organization has given me over the past few decades. I have been very fortunate to lead this company as we have grown together,” said Nelson. “I’m looking forward to moving my focus onto mentoring the next generation of UNICO.” In addition to the announcement of their new President, the Board of Directors appointed two new officers, Executive Vice Presidents Shane Ideus and Ryan Swinton. They also announced the reappointment of CFO and Chairman of the Board, Neal Lyons and Executive Vice Presidents Ric Stoakes, Bob Reynoldson and Joseph Roberts. “We’re excited about the new appointments to the leadership of the Board of Directors and we look forward to the UNICO’s growing future,” said Lyons. For more information about UNICO Group, call (402) 434-7200 or visit

A Holdrege, Nebraska native with more than 20 years of experience as a government relations and public affairs professional is now the first-ever chief operations officer of the Douglas County Health Center. Todd Stubbendieck, who has a track record of successfully developing and executing strategic plans, serving as a senior level advisor and leading teams in high-pressure environments, joined the Health Center administrative staff in early January. Stubbendieck most recently worked as the deputy assistant administrator for legislative affairs at the U.S. Agency for International Development, where he led all legislative strategy and Capitol Hill engagement for USAID. He also worked for U.S Senator Tim Johnson for 13 years and U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey for six years. While Stubbendieck does not have experience in the healthcare industry, he offers a different skillset that will be a tremendous asset to the Health Center. “We have an entire building full of healthcare experts…I am someone who knows how to manage and lead teams, how to help fix problems and bring about changes,” said Stubbendieck. “That is my history and what I’ve done for many years now.” Jean Hartnett, Administrator of Douglas County Health Center, noted with the size of Douglas County Health Center, having 253 beds and being the largest provider of senior services in the state, adding a COO will help facilitate further growth.

Cornhusker Bank Welcomes Allen Chaffee Cornhusker Bank is pleased to announce the addition of Allen Chaffee, Market President, Greater Omaha area, to the staff. Allen has over 19 years of banking experience, with 14 in the greater Omaha area. He graduated from the University of Kansas with a business and economic degree and from the Colorado Graduate School of Banking. According to Barry Lockard, Cornhusker Bank President/CEO, “Allen is a gifted leader and a great fit with our team at Cornhusker Bank. His experience in both retail and commercial banking will serve our team and customers well as we continue to develop the greater Omaha market. In his position as Market President of the greater Omaha area, Allen will be challenged with developing the market and working with our existing team to execute our growth strategies. Allen lives out our motto with clients and associates, ‘Committed to Your Success’ to the utmost degree.” Allen is a member of the Greater Omaha Chamber Leadership Omaha Class 40, the Vice Board Chair of the Blair Family YMCA, sits on the board of the Omaha Outward Bound School, is a Past Grand Knight and Trustee of the Knights of Columbus, and is active in many other organizations in the Greater Omaha and Blair areas. Allen noted he is excited to bring Cornhusker Bank’s rich history, full service, products and true community banking to the Omaha market. John F. Dittman, Cornhusker Bank Chairman reported, “Allen Chaffee provides strong banking and relationship skills which bring significant benefits to our Omaha market clientele, all while remaining within the context of Cornhusker Bank’s community banking mindset.” Cornhusker Bank, chartered in 1903, remains the oldest locally owned bank, demonstrating stability, soundness, and investing in the future growth of the community, valued customers and associates. For more information, please visit us at MARCH 2018 Strictly Business 25

PERSONNEL NEWS Strictly Business Welcomes Hannah Hundley as Executive Assistant

Casey Hansen Increases Ownership Share of Gerst Painting

Strictly Business Magazine is excited to welcome Hannah E. Hundley, who has joined the team as the new Executive Assistant!

Casey Hansen, longtime employee and partowner of Gerst Painting, Inc., has increased his ownership share of the company. The details of the agreement between the two business partners, Hansen and company founder and majority shareholder Mike Gerst, were finalized in January of 2018. Hansen started with the company in 2002 as a painter, and has since steadily been promoted to roles with greater responsibilities, including foreman, office manager, operations manager, and now general manager as well as co-owner of Gerst Painting, Inc.

Hannah is proud to call Lincoln her home. She graduated from Lincoln Southeast High School and then attended the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. While at UNL, she majored in Hospitality, Restaurant, and Tourism Management with minors in Business, Leadership, and Communication. Hannah is passionate about enhancing communities through events, building relationships, and supporting local businesses. She has gained professional experience in a variety of roles, including Event Director for the Broken Bow Chamber of Commerce, Marketing Intern for the Nebraska Tourism Commission, and a variety of event planning positions. As Executive Assistant for Strictly Business, Hannah will work on both the sales and the production side of the publication, with a wide variety of responsibilities including client correspondence, account management, event planning and networking.

Founded in 1977, Gerst Painting, Inc. is one of the country’s premier residential, commercial, and industrial repaint specialists, excelling at painting as well as wallpapering and carpentry projects. With Gerst’s comprehensive list of services and a commitment to excellence from preparation through the finishing touches, you can trust the experienced staff at Gerst to deliver premium service and unmatched craftsmanship. Gerst Painting has won the Best of Omaha award for 14 consecutive years, a testament to its best-in-class offerings and the importance placed on building relationships within the Omaha Metro community and beyond.

Hannah can be reached at (402) 466-3330 or via email at

For more information about Gerst Painting, Inc. or to request a quote, please call (402) 289-1010 or visit


Strictly Business MARCH 2018

PERSONNEL NEWS Five Nines Introduces Newest Service Manager Julian Staab

CarePatrol of Nebraska Welcomes Wendy Tridle as Senior Advisor

Five Nines is excited to add another “Five Niner” to the group as the company welcomes Julian Staab as a Service Manager out of the Lincoln office. Julian knew the IT industry was consistently growing and fast-paced, which led him to the position. He looks forward to having the opportunity to coach and lead others and helping his team reach success. “We are very excited to have Julian join the Five Nines team,” said Dana Olson, Director of IT Services at Five Nines. “His energy combined with the level of support he has for his team have been crucial in prioritizing the success of all Five Nines’ clients.” Founded on an intense desire to solve problems and build long-term relationships with clients, Five Nines leverages technology to drive business success. With offices in Lincoln, Omaha and Kearney, Five Nines advises the best IT solutions for Nebraska based businesses, offering Managed IT Services. Through its unique service model, Five Nines’ clients experience reduced costs, accelerated growth, and increased productivity. Learn more at:

CarePatrol of Nebraska has added a new member to the team, Wendy Tridle! As a senior advisor, Wendy will be helping clients with the selection of Assisted Living, Independent Living, Memory Care, Skilled Care, or In-Home Care. She is passionate about helping others and has experience working with the senior population. Wendy will connect the senior’s care needs, wants, likes, and finances to the best locations, then personally tour the communities with families to ultimately find that perfect match. Graduating with an interior design degree, Wendy has owned and operated her own business where she helped clients organize their spaces. With this working knowledge, she has the skills and experience that will greatly help create a less stressful, easier move for clients. On tours, she can also utilize her space planning skills to help clients visualize the layout and design should they move in. Her positive energy and knowledge will add value to help the client and families have a pleasant experience. Wendy Tridle can be contacted at (402) 730-2542 / Offering FREE senior care recommendations in Omaha, Lincoln, and the surrounding areas, CarePatrol of Nebraska works hand-in-hand with families. CarePatrol is the largest no-cost senior placement agency in the nation, has been around for over 25 years, and was recently honored with a 2018 Franchisee Satisfaction Award. Contact the CarePatrol of Nebraska office at (402) 904-8296 today to schedule a FREE senior care plan.

Premier Bank Announces New Hires Chris Maher, President & CEO, is pleased to announce the following new additions to the Premier Bank team: Josh Berry has been hired as a Vice President, Commercial Lender working at the Village Pointe location. With over 9 years of experience in banking, he places emphasis on maintaining an excellent customer experience while providing strategic guidance to his clients. Berry attended UNO and holds two Bachelor’s degrees, in Philosophy and Psychology. Tom Augustine has joined Premier Bank as Branch Manager of the Village Pointe location.   He has been in banking for nearly 15 years and has gained a wide range of experience having managed bank branches not only in Omaha, NE but in Gillette, WY and Las Cruces, NM as well.  Augustine graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University with a degree in Business Administration and has successfully completed a 10-month bank leadership course.

Lauritzen Gardens Executive Director Spencer Crews to Retire Josh Berry

Tom Augustine

Kalee Corcoran comes to Premier Bank with over 10 years of banking experience. She has been hired as a Mortgage Loan Officer and will office out of the bank’s 43rd and Dodge location.   Corcoran earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing Management from Bellevue University. Premier Bank was established in 2011 and is a locally owned, full service bank.  The bank has branches in Omaha along the Kalee Corcoran Dodge Street corridor at 43rd, 114th and 168th Streets and a branch in Nebraska City.  Premier Bank has been recognized by as one of the Top 200 Healthiest Banks in the nation for four consecutive years, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Find out more online at www.

Longtime Lauritzen Gardens Executive Director Spencer Crews has announced that he is retiring from full-time leadership of Omaha’s public garden. Crews will transition to the position of Executive Director Emeritus-Advisor. He will work to incorporate the garden’s new Executive Director, and will focus on new garden design, horticulture and archiving the garden’s development history. The Lauritzen Gardens Board of Directors has launched a national search for an Executive Director, and will work with a search firm to name a top-level leader by summer 2018. Under Crews’ leadership, Lauritzen Gardens developed as a publicprivate partnership from a bluff with wooded terrain just west of the Missouri River to a thriving 100-acre botanical center near downtown Omaha. Highlights of his tenure include, but are certainly not limited to: the opening of the 32,000-square-foot visitor and education center in 2001, the admittance of Lauritzen Gardens as the 38th participating institution in the Center for Plant Conservation in 2012, and the addition of the 17,500-square-foot Marjorie K. Daugherty Conservatory in 2014. During Crews’ tenure, staff members increased from a single full-time employee to 70+ employees. 2017 was an exceptional year for the garden, setting records for yearly attendance, household memberships and educational participants. “Lauritzen Gardens is one of Omaha’s greatest treasures due to the vision and work of Spencer Crews,” said Lee Handke, board president. “Spencer was the first Executive Director of the gardens, guiding its growth and development into a vibrant place for the community to enjoy, with a reputation that continues to grow beyond Omaha.” For more information about Lauritzen Gardens, please visit www. or call (402) 346-4002. MARCH 2018 Strictly Business 27

PERSONNEL NEWS Marcos Hernandez Elected to MLCDC Board The Midlands Latino Community Development Corporation (MLCDC) welcomes its newest member of the Board of Directors, Marcos A. Hernandez, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility Community Development Manager and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), U.S. Bank Community Markets, Nebraska/Western Iowa, Kansas and Missouri. Hernandez is an accomplished business professional with over 20 years’ combined experience in corporate management, business ownership and community leadership. In his role at U.S. Bank, Hernandez is responsible for leading efforts for implementing Community Development Strategies to achieve an Outstanding Bank CRA performance rating. He places emphasis on lending, investments and service activities, which include grants and philanthropy to support community initiatives and consumer needs, as well as environmental, multicultural and supplier diversity programs and projects. Hernandez was recently selected to serve on the Federal Reserve Board of Kansas City, Community Development Advisory Council (CDAC), for a to a three-year term that began in January. Hernandez is a United States Air Force veteran who currently serves on several other boards: Heartland Family Service, Chair of Audit Committee and member of the Advocacy Committee; The Iowa West Foundation, member of the Community Housing Task Force; and Greater Bellevue Chamber of Commerce, member of the Economic Development Committee. 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

Dean Michelle Eppler Named to Head Bellevue University’s Human Capital Lab Michelle K. Eppler, Ed.D., who has served as Dean of Bellevue University’s College of Continuing and Professional Education since 2003, has been appointed Executive Director of the University’s Human Capital Lab. The announcement was made by Bellevue University President Mary Hawkins. Founded a decade ago, the Bellevue University Human Capital Lab was the first in the nation to study the business impact of learning. Bellevue University was the first to offer a Ph.D. program in human capital management, which is defined as the comprehensive set of practices for recruiting, managing, developing and optimizing the human resources of an organization. Since its founding, the Human Capital Lab has focused on measuring the impact of learning on productivity in the workplace – showing companies the return on investment (ROI) of investments made in the people who make up their workforces. Human Capital Lab studies and data are available free at “The Human Capital Lab is a great example of how rigorous academic study can be used to collaborate with companies and support business productivity,” said Dr. Eppler, who also serves as Associate Vice President of the University. She added that the Lab plans to expand on the rich data repositories and case studies that it makes available to organizations and Chief Learning Officers (CLO). Dr. Eppler, whose doctorate thesis at the University of Missouri-Columbia was on the topic of educational leadership and policy analysis, also noted that the Lab’s work aligns with the University’s expertise in workforce learning and development. Bellevue University is recognized as a nationwide leader in adult learning, and currently provides talent-forward organizations with a variety of for-credit and non-credit education programs and services. 28 Strictly Business MARCH 2018

Terry Rush Joins E&A Consulting Group E&A Consulting Group, Inc. is very pleased to announce the addition of Terry Rush to the role of marketing and business development director. He is responsible for business development in E&A’s Omaha and Lincoln offices and managing the firm’s marketing initiatives. “Terry’s energy, approach and experience align perfectly with our goals to move E&A forward,” says E&A CEO Jason Thiellen. Rush is an Omaha native who has worked in business development and management roles in the construction industry for 10 years. He attended Creighton University where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Rush is a board member with The Meyer Foundation for Disabilities and Holy Name Advisory Committee. He is a new SMPS NE member and is active with the Knights of Columbus. E&A Consulting Group, Inc. is an engineering, planning and field services firm located in Lincoln and Omaha. The firm is celebrating over 50 years of Engineering Answers. Find out more about E&A Consulting Group, Inc. online at

Three Local Advisors Join Allen Capital Group’s Omaha Office Nebraska wealth management firm Allen Capital Group recently added three new advisors to its Omaha location. This expansion represents another step forward in the firm’s rapid, strategic growth and its commitment to a client-centered approach. With these new hires, the Omaha location – which opened its doors at 10050 Regency Circle in September 2017 – now has eight employees. The new advisors are Travis Portwood, CFA, CFP®; Randy Korth, CPA; and Pamela Korth, Travis Portwood CPA. They are deeply experienced local wealth advisors joining Allen Capital Group to help expand the current Omaha location. After years of working in the industry, Portwood and the Korths saw a parallel philosophy and a refreshing approach in Allen Capital. “Allen Capital Group is a nimble firm in a marketplace that is constantly evolving,” said Randy Korth. “They are true to the ‘client first’ philosophy and allow advisors to execute the principle.” Supported by their in-depth wealth-planning Randy Korth knowledge, the Korths and Portwood will have access to valuable technology platforms designed to enhance the client experience. In addition, they will be delivering the personalized, trustworthy service for which Allen Capital is known. “Our primary focus and passion is working with clients and providing them with unbiased advice to help them achieve their goals,” said Portwood. “Allen Capital empowers their advisors with an excellent wealth planning platform and the flexibility needed to execute the clients’ plan.” Pamela Korth Allen Capital Group is an SEC Registered Investment Advisor offering comprehensive and unbiased wealth management services to clients across the United States. To learn more about Allen Capital Group, visit or contact the Omaha office at (402) 932-6300.


Bellevue Chamber’s Longtime Vice President of Administration Doris Urwin Retires

Papillion Community Foundation Announces New Board Members

Doris Urwin, the Greater Bellevue Area Chamber’s longtime Vice President of Administration, has retired effective February 9. Urwin has led the Chamber’s Administration department since 1997. “I’ve been very fortunate,” Urwin said. “I love my job and I love this organization, from the team of professionals and volunteers to the business and civic leaders that I’ve had the privilege of working for and with over the years. And most importantly, I love Bellevue.” In her 21 years, Urwin has seen the Bellevue Chamber grow significantly in events, membership and services provided to existing and new businesses. A particular source of pride has been Riverfest, the Veterans Day Parade, and Leadership Bellevue. In addition to her role at the Greater Bellevue Area Chamber of Commerce, Urwin is active in Kiwanis, Offutt Advisory Council, Bellevue Public Safety Foundation and a variety of other civic organizations. Urwin will remain active in these as she begins her next chapter in life. Jim Ristow, CEO of the Bellevue Area Chamber of Commerce, expressed his gratitude for Urwin’s years of service, commitment, and many accomplishments during her time in the organization and community. An official celebration recognizing Urwin will be scheduled in the coming months after some long-awaited travel plans. Thank you Doris, you will be missed! Find out more about the Bellevue Chamber at www.bellevuenebraska. com or call (402) 898-3000.

T h e Pa p i l l i o n Comm unity Foundation announces the appointment of four new members to its Board of Directors; eac h will ser ve three year terms. Joining the Board are Travis Davis, Jerod Franck, Mike Jerod Franck, DC Travis David Rukstalis and Mark Vanderheiden. Tra v i s D a v i d currently serves as the Branch Manager of Great Western Bank in Papillion. A 2010 graduate of the University of Nebraska Omaha, he recently returned to Nebraska after Mark Vanderheiden working in New York Mike Rukstalis, DVM City in the banking industry. He joined the Great Western Bank team in August of 2017. Jerod Franck, DC owns and operates Franck Chiropractic PC in Papillion. He attended Nebraska Wesleyan University (NWU) where he earned his undergraduate degree, followed by Cleveland Chiropractic College (CCC) in Overland Park, KS, where he earned his degree as a Doctor of Chiropractic. He is an active member of the Papillion community. Mike Rukstalis, DVM is the proud owner of Papillion Animal Hospital, a rapidly-growing full-service veterinary practice he established in 2015. Growing up in Papillion, Mike attended Papillion-La Vista public schools (K-12). He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Nebraska and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Iowa State University. Mike currently serves on the board of directors of the Nebraska Academy of Veterinary Medicine, is a member of the Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, the Sarpy Country Chamber of Commerce, and the Sons of the American Legion. Mark Vanderheiden is co-owner of Gina V Physical Therapy. He manages all business-related activities for the practice including billing, marketing, advertising, and the maintenance of the clinic. Additionally, he works with the Papillion schools to help out with business and marketing classes. Mark received his bachelor’s degree in business management from Bellevue University in 2011. He served 21 years in the Army National Guard and retired in November of 2017. Mark is very active in the Papillion Community as a longtime member of the American Legion, The Lions Club, and a Papillion Jr. Titan football coach and Board member. For more information about the Papillion Community Foundation, visit or call (402) 331-3917.

SAC FCU Expands Business Lending Team SAC Federal Credit Union has added two new professionals to their expanding Business Team. Michele Lindschmidt has joined SAC as the Credit Union’s Senior Commercial Lender. Lindschmidt brings over 35 years in banking experience to the Credit Union, with over 24 years of specialized focus on commercial and single family new construction. She is an active member of MOBA (Metro Omaha Builders Association) as well as several other local community organizations. Lindschmidt will be Michele Lindschmidt assisting business members with construction loans for a variety of commercial property types as well as permanent term financing once construction is complete. The Credit Union has also named Angie Jones as their Business Relationship Manager, providing private banking services to both consumer and business members. Jones has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration & Finance from University of Nebraska – Lincoln and has over 16 years of banking experience, with eight years as a Business Banking Specialist. She is involved Angie Jones with several animal rescue organizations and shelters in the greater Omaha area. Jones will be assisting SAC’s Business members find the best solutions for their current needs and future business goals. She will be utilizing a full array of business services including but not limited to; depository solutions, payment and cash flow tools, online and mobile banking and lending tools. SAC Federal Credit Union is Nebraska’s largest locally owned credit union and has been serving the Greater Omaha area for over 71 years. For more information, visit

It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know & Who Knows You! At Strictly Business Magazine, we strive to recognize local businessmen and women for their significant awards, promotions, achievements, and/or efforts in partnership with other organizations and the Omaha Metro community. If you know of someone who meets these criteria and wish to include their news in our publication, please call (402) 466-3330 or submit your news via our website at www. MARCH 2018 Strictly Business 29


Munroe-Meyer Foundation’s Walk & Roll for Disabilities Set for March 4

La Vista Community Foundation Awards Grants to Local Organizations

Star Wars characters. Face painting. Musicians. Clowns. And a chance to help a great cause. The 14th Annual Walk & Roll for Disabilities, sponsored by the Meyer Foundation for Disabilities, will be held at 10:30 a.m. March 4 at the Oak View Mall. The event raises funds for programming for adult with intellectual and developmental disabilities at the University of Nebraska Medical Center Munroe-Meyer Institute, including activities such as a cooking club and an adult outing club. Participants this year can look forward to appearances by the 501st Garrison, aka Star Wars group, clowns Dearheart and Friends, face painting, a disc jockey, and photos by Party Pics To Go, as well as a continental breakfast provided by Family Fare Supermarkets. The Omaha Burke Sparkles and Omaha Burke Drum Line will perform as well as the Rubber Chicken band. Non-profit organizations with programs for adults with developmental disabilities will have literature available. Registration is $30. Online registration is open through March 1. At the event registration will take place from 9-10:30 a.m. All donations must be turned in by 10:15 a.m. on March 4 to be eligible for a drawing for a free iPad for individuals raising more than $500 (excluding registration fees). For other prizes and to register, visit

The La Vista Community Foundation (LVCF) r e c e n t l y a wa r d e d grant funds to six worthy organizations that help tremendously in the La Vista area.

Community Need for Grief’s Journey Continues The total number of participants receiving Grief’s Journey’s free grief support programming grew 20% from 1,603 in 2016 to 1,924 by year-end 2017. Of those served, 55% were youth (ages 3-18) and 45% were adults. Those categories had 35% and 6% growth, respectively. The largest referral source continues to be word-of-mouth with 28% of participants being encouraged to come to Grief’s Journey by friends or family members, followed by therapists/counselors (19%), school personnel (15%), and doctors/ hospitals (11%). Participation growth can be attributed to several factors, including an additional 349 individuals served off-site in 2017 (439 in 2017 vs. 90 in 2016). Partnerships with community organizations yielded satellite services at Omaha Healthy Start, Completely Kids (Norris Middle School), Antioch Baptist, Lewis & Clark Middle School, Omaha North High School, and the Latino Center of the Midlands. To further the agency’s reach, staff hours were added to the Grief’s Journey team, which helped to rally the 250+ volunteers who lead the support programming. “2017 was a year of bolstered self-awareness. More than ever, we are resolved to living out our commitment to serving all who grieve,” said Rebecca Turner, CEO of Grief’s Journey. “This means no longer looking at programs produced off-site as ‘bonus programs’ reserved for when we find the time and resources. This is our work; it’s not in addition to our work, and we’re proud to be able to respond to our community’s needs in this way.” 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. For more information, visit 30 Strictly Business MARCH 2018

Pictured: Grant recipients with John Yochum

Over $7,000 in grant (far left), LVCF executive director, and Tom Kerfoot (far right), LVCF board president. dollars were given to the six organizations selected, which all work to make a difference in the La Vista community and in the lives of residents living in this growing city. The funds distributed will assist over 1,200 La Vista residents through programs offered by the recipient organizations. The agencies receiving funds are Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands, La Vista Recreation Department Winter Coat Drive, Project SEARCH, LC Perk Program, College Possible, and Tri-City Food Pantry. The La Vista Community Foundation is a non-profit organization that exists to improve the quality of life where people live, work, and play in La Vista, Nebraska. The foundation seeks to assist other agencies with the similar commitment to providing services in the arts, education, public safety, elderly care, culture, and community in the La Vista area. Contact John Yochum at La Vista Community Foundation for additional information. Also, be sure to check online for current year grant details and deadline at

Coats Ease Bitter Cold for Omaha Families Heartland Hope Mission partnered with Nebraska Furniture Mart and KMTV 3 News Now to help working poor families ease the bitter cold this winter by hosting a coat donation drive at Nebraska Furniture Mart and the KMTV news station. The community donated new and gently used coats, hats and gloves along with other warm winter items. “Frigid weather makes it imperative that families in need have access to winter coats and hats,” says Chelsea Salifou, CEO of Heartland Hope Mission. The final numbers totaled over 1,000 coats and over 2,900 warm winter items donated for working poor families. Last year, the drive collected 521 coats, 333 pairs of gloves, 173 hats, 142 scarves, 130 blankets and 14 pairs of shoes. All donations are distributed locally and are free to families in need. At Heartland Hope Mission’s South Omaha and Millard food pantries, working poor families choose a week’s supply of nutritious groceries including: milk, frozen meat, and fresh produce to prepare well-balanced meals at home. Clients also receive: clothing, hygiene items, diapers, and access to a client service specialist, who assists with SNAP (food stamp) applications and navigational services. Last year the pantry saw a 25 percent increase in clients and provided pantries to over 45,000 people. All services are provided locally. You can make a $25 donation at


Adult & Teen Challenge of the Midlands to Host Spring Fundraiser

Vision Maker Film Festival to Feature 30+ New Films

Join the Adult & Teen Challenge of the M i d l a n d s fo r t h e i r upcoming fundraiser on Friday, April 13 at King of Kings Church, located at 11615 I St., Omaha, NE 68137. The event, set to start at 6 p.m., will feature an incredible night of inspirational stories and real-life testimonies. The organization hopes to raise funds for the continued support of their mission to transform lives. Adult & Teen Challenge of the Midlands exists to be a catalyst for 180-degree change in the life of the addict. The organization offers a long-term, 12-month faith-based program for adults 18 and older. This program is designed to assist individuals achieve freedom from drugs and alcohol and the destructive behaviors that accompany it. For more information, visit or contact Adam Nordstrom, Executive Director, at (402) 305-5825 /

Are you a film enthusiast? Vision Maker Media’s film festival is your chance to indulge your passion, April 20-26, at the Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. There will be 30-plus new films highlighted at this weeklong event. Find out more online at Opening night features the film RUMBLE: The Indians Who Rocked the World, about how Native American musicians influenced music history, despite attempts to ban, censor and erase Indian culture in the United States. In addition to showing 15 new films by and about Native Americans, Vision Maker Media’s partners in the National Minority Consortia (NMC) will present films from diverse perspectives, including Asian, Black, Latino and the Pacific Islands. Festival films focus on a wide range of topics important to diverse populations and of interest to all independent film aficionados—language, cultural heritage, youth, coming-of-age, survival, sovereignty, and rising tensions and protest, to name a few. Learn more at

Healing Garden Grows Hope for 10 Years This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Methodist Jennie Edmundson Healing Garden, “Garden of Hope,” which was established in 2008. The garden is designed as a place where patients and their loved ones, employees and friends are invited and encouraged to find serenity and reprieve. The sights, sounds and smells of a garden provide many people with a respite from their troubles and a feeling of serenity and peace, particularly during times of stress. The Healing Garden, “Garden of Hope,” is supported solely by donations. For a minimum of $100, an engraved paver will be placed in the walkway of the garden. You may dedicate your paver as a memorial or honorarium to a loved one, or simply as a celebration of life and good health. Become a part of the Healing Garden today; help build hope and help hope grow! Please contact the JE Foundation for more information at (712) 396-6040 / Find out more about the JE Foundation online at

Omaha Home for Boys Introduces Produce With Purpose CSA New in 2018, Omaha Home for Boys Cooper Farm is offering memberships to its Produce with Purpose CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). The Produce with Purpose CSA provides members with a weekly share of fresh, locally-grown fruits and vegetables throughout the summer and fall growing seasons and also allows participants to support the Home’s mission at the same time. Youth from Omaha Home for Boys work alongside Cooper Farm’s staff tending crops and learning valuable job skills at the farm. The youth will play an integral role in preparing Produce with Purpose fruits and vegetables from seed to members’ tables. Full share and half share produce options are available as well as farm fresh eggs. The first pick-up day will be June 1 at Omaha Home for Boys main campus at 52nd & Ames Street. For more information or to become a Produce with Purpose CSA member, visit OmahaHomeForBoys. org/produce-purpose-csa. Act fast because memberships are limited!

BLUEBARN Theatre Joins National New Play Network BLUEBARN Theatre is honored to join the National New Play Network as an Associate Member! BLUEBARN has long been Omaha’s home fo r p ro f e s s i o n a l contemporary theatre, bringing diverse perspectives, new voices, and provocative work to our community. BLUEBARN is thrilled to join the ranks of professional theatres across the country evolving and exploring the frontiers of the American theatre. National New Play Network (NNPN; is the country’s alliance of non-profit professional theaters dedicated to the development, production, and continued life of new plays. Since its founding in 1998, NNPN has supported more than 250 productions nationwide through its innovative National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere program. Its annual National Conference, National Showcase of New Plays, and MFA Playwrights Workshop; the NNPN Annual and Smith Prize commissions; its residencies for playwrights, producers and directors-have helped cement the Network’s position as a vital force in the new play landscape. Its most recent project, the New Play Exchange (www.newplayexchange. org), is changing the way playwrights share their work and others discover it by providing immediate access to information on nearly 17,000 new plays by living writers. NNPN’s 30 Core and 80 Associate Members - along with the more than 250 affiliated artists who are its alumni, the thousands of artists and artisans employed annually by its member theaters, and the hundreds of thousands of audience members who see its supported works each year - are creating the new American theater. For more information about BLUEBARN Theatre, visit or call (402) 345-1576. MARCH 2018 Strictly Business 31

NON-PROFIT NEWS Radio Talking Book Service Announces 3rd Annual Wining in the Dark Event Radio Talking Book Service (RTBS) will be hosting its third annual Wining in the Dark fundraising event at Nosh Restaurant and Wine Lounge in downtown Omaha on Sunday, March 18 from 4-6 p.m. Guests will experience an intimate evening of blindfolded wine tastings, delectable delicacies prepared by the chef at Nosh, and live musical entertainment by Bob Goding and David P. Murphy. Wining in the Dark is open to adults 21 and over with a limited number of tickets available at $60 per person (a portion of the ticket price is tax deductible). The last day to purchase tickets is March 12 and sponsorship opportunities are also available. Radio Talking Book Service, Nebraska’s Audio Companion, was founded in 1974 and provides human-voiced information choices to individuals who have visual or physical disabilities which prevent them from reading. RTBS is in its 43rd year of bringing the printed word to life for Nebraskans. For more information on Wining in the Dark or for sponsorship information, please visit or contact Jane Nielsen at (402) 572-3003 /

YES Encourages Local Businesses, Organizations to Sign On as a Safe Place This year, National Safe Place Week will be celebrated March 18-24. Youth Emergency Services ( encourages local businesses and organizations in the Omaha Metro to get involved and sign on as a designated Safe Place. Whether riding with an unsafe or under-the-influence driver or being separated from friends in unfamiliar and possibly dangerous situations, sometimes youth need help and safety from an immediate threat from strangers and even friends. Safe Place is a national youth outreach and prevention program for young people in need of immediate help and safety. As a collaborative community prevention initiative, Safe Place designates businesses and organizations as Safe Place locations, making help readily available to youth in communities across the country. Safe Place sites are businesses and other public locations designated by licensed Safe Place agencies as “safe places” for youth to go when in a crisis situation. These locations fit criteria set up by NSPN and receive orientation and training by Youth Emergency Services. NSP Week also serves to recognize the many valued partners who work together to provide immediate help and safety for all young people. It is a dedicated time to acknowledge licensed Safe Place agencies, Safe Place locations and community partners and volunteers. These individuals and groups are the pillars of strength that support the national safety net for youth.


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For more information on becoming a Safe Place location, please contact Shawn Miller, Safe Place Coordinator, at (402) 345-5187 /

NON-PROFIT NEWS Nebraska Recycling Council, Goodwill Present Free Webinar

OneWorld Fundraiser: “Baseball, Brews and Babies, Too!”

On March 8 from noon to 1 p.m., Tammy Slater, CEO of Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska. Inc., will give a presentation about the Recycling, Re-Using and RePurposing activities of her organization, serving 55 counties in central and western Nebraska.

Save the date! In place of our traditional Cinco de Mayo celebration, OneWorld Community Health Centers is “switching up” the party with a baseball-themed event. OneWorld will be “taking a swing” at its new spring fundraiser on Friday, June 8 from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The event will be held at Blatt Beer & Table downtown (610 N. 12th St.) on the rooftop beer garden. Please plan to join for a laid-back evening of preCollege World Series fun complete with live music, ballpark food and beverages.

Dedicated to helping people with disabilities or barriers reach their goals and improve their quality of life, Goodwill Industries of Greater Nebraska recycles many types of products from metals to rags, shoes to textiles. Over 3.8 million pounds were sent to recycling markets in 2016. Learn about their programs, successes, and challenges, including a glass recycling pilot launched in 2017. Register for this FREE webinar online at https://attendee.gotowebinar. com/register/1023677599426121474. Nebraska Recycling Council is a statewide, member-based, 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization. Its mission is to maximize the economic and environmental benefits of resource recovery in Nebraska. The goal of the Nebraska Recycling Council is to re-energize recycling in Nebraska through innovation, education, training, and the power of collaboration. For more information about the Nebraska Recycling Council, visit

“Carnival of Love” Gala Raises $300K for Heartland Family Service Programs The “Carnival of Love” Gala, Heartland Family Service’s largest fundraiser each year, took place on February 10. This year’s event had a Lunar New Year theme and featured a silent auction, a live auction, an Asian cultural dance performance by DMNV Lion Dance Team, casino games, and a wine toss. During the live auction, Pictured (L-R): President & CEO John guests had the opportunity Jeanetta, JoAnn Gould, Terri Burke, Tim Burke, Julie Gibson-Beier, and Debbie to bid on some amazing Bouc pose on-stage before the event. travel packages from Heartland Family Service’s non-profit partner AmFund, including a trip to the Greek Islands, which sold for $9,000 and a Castles of Ireland trip, which sold for $10,000. During the program, Heartland Family Service also unveiled its new 2018 agency video, which featured success stories from each of the agency’s three focus areas – Child & Family Well-Being, Counseling & Prevention, and Housing & Financial Stability. Thanks to the generosity of this year’s 636 attendees as well as sponsors, donors, and supporters, Heartland Family Service raised more than $300,000! All proceeds will support the more than 50 life-affirming programs the agency offers. This year’s Gala Co-Chairs were Julie Gibson-Beier and Debbie Bouc. The event’s Honorary Chairs were Terri & Tim Burke, and this year’s Friends Guild President is JoAnn Gould. Sue Seline was the Master of Ceremonies. Founded in 1875, Heartland Family Service serves more than 52,000 individuals of all ages each year from more than 15 locations in east central Nebraska and southwest Iowa. For more information, visit or call (402) 552-7447.

All proceeds from the event will support OneWorld’s Baby Boutique, which helps low-income, underserved families prepare for newborns by providing them with essential items. Every time expecting families attend prenatal and newborn appointments or classes, they earn “baby bucks” to spend on outfits, blankets, diapers and more in the Baby Boutique. With baby essentials as incentives, the Boutique encourages new mothers to seek early and consistent prenatal care. For tickets and more information about Baseball, Brews and Babies, Too!, please visit or contact Fundraising and Events Specialist Kelsey Brozek at kbrozek@ or at (402) 502-8940.

New Gardening Classes This Spring at Both City Sprouts Locations Both of City Sprouts’ locations (City Sprouts at 4002 Seward Street and City Sprouts South at 1815 N Street) are offering spring workshops on gardening, ecology, natural food, and more. The two locations offer their own unique class schedules this spring. CITY SPROUTS: Together City Sprouts and The Big Garden have released the spring schedule of the Growing Gardeners Workshop Series for February through April, featuring classes on starting seeds indoors, planning and planting urban vegetable gardens and medicinal herb gardens, backyard chickens, homemade natural skin care and cleaning products, bugs, organic pest management, and more! CITY SPROUTS SOUTH: City Sprouts South is kicking off 2018 with a class series focused on gardening and ecology. This spring’s schedule runs through March and April, and features classes on orchard care, gardening, and ecology. Classes at City Sprouts South are bilingual, with instruction in both English and Spanish. Most workshops are free or low-cost, all-ages, and no one will be turned away for inability to pay. All workshops are held at City Sprouts (4002 Seward St.), The Big Garden (5602 Read St.), or City Sprouts South (1815 N St.) in Omaha. Check workshops for details of each workshop. These classes are open to the public. Some workshops may require advance registration, please see and for details. MARCH 2018 Strictly Business 33

NON-PROFIT NEWS CEDARS Offering Classes to Local Parents All parents wonder if they’re getting it right. They’re not alone. Sometimes it’s hard to tell what your child needs, what their behaviors mean, and if you’re doing the right thing. CEDARS has been helping kids in crisis and building strong families in Nebraska for over 70 years. The Nebraska-based child caring organization is proud to offer classes to support the families of this community. For any parent wishing to gain a deeper bond with their child, CEDARS is offering an eight-week class called “Circle of Security,” designed for caretakers of children from prenatal to age 8, but applicable to older children as well. Attendees will learn to strengthen their relationship with their child, to be present with their child during the best and toughest of times, recognize their child’s needs and make sense of their behaviors, and meet their child’s needs by being bigger, stronger, wiser and kind. Held at CEDARS Northbridge Community Center at 1533 N. 27th Street in Lincoln, “Circle of Security” classes run Wednesday nights from April 25 through June 13. The classes are free but registration is required. To register, or for more information, contact Raegan at or (402) 617-8897. To learn how CEDARS supports families in the community, visit or call (402) 434-5437.

Starbucks Donates $10K to Support Lutheran Family Services’ “At Ease” Program Lutheran Family Services of Nebraska has received a generous gift from Starbucks to support services for the At Ease program, which provides confidential, supportive and therapeutic services for active military members, veterans and their families. The donation was announced on Wednesday, February 7 at Pictured: Emily Lindsey, District the Starbucks at Highway 370 and 72nd Street in Papillion. Manager, Starbucks with Cliff McEvoy, Program Manager, Lutheran Starbucks Regional Director “At Ease” Family Services of Nebraska. Ernie McIntosh announced the $10,000 donation alongside Cliff McEvoy, Program Manager for At Ease. Also in attendance was Christopher Schmidt, Starbucks Manager of Veterans and Military Affairs, Retired Major General Roger Lempke of the Nebraska National Guard who is now Director of Military and Veteran Affairs for Nebraska U.S. Senator Deb Fischer, and Sharon Robino West of the Veterans Administration. Starbucks employee Chris Lassiter, who is a military veteran and military spouse, also made brief remarks. The Papillion location is one of 38 “Starbucks Military Family Stores” across the United States. Starbucks has pledged to hire 25,000 veterans at its stores by 2025. The company has already hired 10,000 veterans since 2013. The Lutheran Family Services’ (LFS) mission is to express God’s love for all people by providing quality human care services that build and strengthen individual, family and community life. The organization’s vision is safety, hope and well-being for all people. Programs are available in Children Services, Behavioral Health and Community Services. For more information, please call (402) 978-5646 or visit 34 Strictly Business MARCH 2018

“Share an Easter Meal and Pack the Pantry” at Open Door Mission Open Door Mission has announced its annual “Share an Easter Meal and Pack the Pantry” event, scheduled March 19-30. There are three simple and important ways you can join in the effort to make this Easter season a truly happy one for thousands of hungry and homeless men, women, and children: 1. Send a Gift! Just $2.15 provides one hot, nutritious meal. Contribute online at 2. Fill a Bag! Fill a grocery bag with any of the following items and take it to Family Fare, Fareway, or SuperSaver locations. These items will be used to inspire HOPE for lasting change. URGENT FOOD NEEDS: Boxed meals, boxed potatoes, canned meat, cereals, macaroni & cheese, pasta, pasta sauce, peanut butter, and snacks. 3. Pack the Pantry! At Family Fare locations only, purchase a bag of Our Family Brand products for $20 to help pack the pantry! These food items will be used to feed the hungry. Open Door Mission is a Gospel Rescue Mission that provides 816 men, women, and children with safe shelter beds, serves more than 2,100 nutritious meals, and provides homeless preventive measures to keep more than 1.080 individuals and families in their homes. Open Door Mission offers life-changing programs for those recovering from life-altering addictions and abuse to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty.

Prospective Rider Information Tours Offered at HETRA This Spring Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy (HETRA) offers Equine Assisted Activities for adults and children with disabilities. Equine-assisted activity contributes to the cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being of individuals with special needs. Prospective Rider Information Tours are now being held twice monthly for families and individuals interested in learning more. Led by either the Executive Director or Program Manager - both of whom are therapists - families gain crucial insight through one to one dialogue with these experts. “Our families have the ability to ask specific questions, observe sessions, and witness first-hand the benefits of equine therapy. Our small, concentrated groups are designed to be rich in dialogue and inclusive, allowing attendees the ability to visualize themselves in our program and become comfortable with our processes, all without committing to the program. Once they decide HETRA is a fit, we assist with the process of becoming a participant,” explains Edye Godden, Occupational Therapists and Executive Director of HETRA. “No matter their ability to pay, HETRA never turns anyone away. We are a family, and our objective is to bring a personal touch to those who are at the initial stage of discovery and assist them through the process.” Individuals and families interested in registering or learning more about Prospective Rider Information Tours can register on HETRA’s event calendar at, and also through HETRA’s Facebook Event page.

NON-PROFIT NEWS Omaha Creative Institute Completes Move to New Location Omaha Creative Institute is excited to announce the recent opening on February 9 of their new location at 1419 S. 13th Street, Suite 103. To better fulfill their mission of giving Omaha-area artists (visual artists, writers, musicians, theater makers, performers, and designers) the professional tools they need to build a sustainable career in the arts, Omaha Creative Institute has moved to a new, dedicated space in Little Bohemia. Once an auto body repair shop, the newly-renovated 1,600-square-foot warehouse comes outfitted with a programs space for continuing professional development, office / administration space, and a new exhibition space that will diversify Omaha’s arts landscape by hosting artist-curated projects and exhibitions. Omaha Creative Institute provides artists with the training and opportunities they need to build a sustainable career in the arts. This is done by providing ongoing professional development, offering grants to artists and connecting artists and patrons. For more information, please visit www.omahacreativeinstitute. org or contact Peter Fankhauser at (402) 996-1092 / peter@

Project Harmony: Speakers Bureau Launched by Nebraska Human Trafficking Task Force Are you interested in learning more about Human Trafficking? More specifically, what does it mean? What is the purpose? And, what are the signs? The Nebraska Human Trafficking Task Force is pleased to announce a new resource which will allow them to expand their reach. The Nebraska Human Trafficking Speakers Bureau will launch later this spring - a coordinated effort overseen by the Nebraska Attorney General’s office and Salvation Army. The Nebraska Human Trafficking Speakers Bureau will feature leaders connected to one of the seven child advocacy centers across the state, including Project Harmony. As part of the speakers bureau, Project Harmony ( will have the opportunity to add Human Trafficking 101 to their course catalog and interweave child focused trafficking into all future trainings. Project Harmony’s Training Institute currently trains over 10,000 professionals and community members on child abuse prevention topics each year. By incorporating statistics and information on sex trafficking throughout the many trainings already offered for free by Project Harmony, the Nebraska Human Trafficking Task Force can continue to increase their reach and ultimately: *Help the victims/survivors of trafficking; *Stop traffickers; *Eliminate the market for human trafficking. “Research shows that preventing, identifying and responding to sex trafficking requires a multi-system, coordinated and collaborative approach,” said member of the Nebraska Human Trafficking Task Force and Special Projects Coordinator with the Nebraska Alliance of Child Advocacy Centers Erin Aliano. If you are interested in booking one of the speakers, please contact Erin Aliano at

Santa Monica to Host Spring Fundraiser Santa Monica has announced the 7th annual Spring Fundraiser Luncheon and Auction will be held on Saturday, April 14th. It will take place at the D.C. Centre, located at 11830 Stonegate Drive in Omaha, beginning at 11 a.m. Join Santa Monica for this fun, unique, engaging fundraiser to support a great mission. Founded in 1972, Santa Monica has partnered with over 2,700 women on their journey to recovery from addiction and alcoholism. Santa Monica provides a Halfway House program with a step down level of care. Reuniting families, reintegrating productive women to the community and providing exceptional service has been the vision of Santa Monica and continues to be for the future. Those interested in attending may sponsor a table of 8 for $200 or purchase individual tickets for $30. Unable to attend? Donate an auction item! Donations can also be made online at santamonicahouse. org, or contact Heather Kirk at (402) 558-7088 / heather@ to find out more about how you can get involved.

Midlands Community Foundation’s 2018 Reflection Ball Raises More than $130K Midlands Community Foundation’s 2018 Reflection Ball, held on January 20 at the Embassy Suites in LaVista, raised more than $130,000. 475 guests attended the Pictured: Kris and Steve Zey, 2018 Reflection gala. Net proceeds Ball Honorary Chairs; Bindy and Bob from the event will Frederick, 2018 Reflection Award Recipients; support the needs of Tonee Gay, Midlands Community Foundation non-profit organizations Executive Director; Patrick Sullivan, Midlands Community Foundation Board President. that provide programs and services to children in Sarpy and Cass counties in the areas of ar t, comm unity, economic development, education, health and human services. Pictured: Front Row (L-R) Kris Zey, Tami At the event, the 2018 Field, Martha Sopinski, Jan Davis, Mary Reflection Award was Gawecki, Jill Govier; Back Row (L-R) Karla presented to Bindy Rupiper, Diane Knicky, Donna Wilcox, and Bob Frederick Brenda Carlson, Carrie Krist, Jackie Davis, for their volunteerism Kathy Wendlandt, Ken Summerfield. and ser vice to the community. “We are thrilled to present Bindy and Bob Frederick with this year’s Reflection Award. We appreciate the countless hours of volunteer service they have provided to a number of worthwhile organizations, particularly, their many years of service to Midlands Community Foundation’s Board of Directors and Reflection Ball Committee,” said Tonee Gay, executive director. The mission of Midlands Community Foundation is to benefit the diverse needs of the Sarpy and Cass county communities by providing financial support, involvement and service. For more information, contact Diane Knicky, Director of Operations and Public Relations, at (402) 991-8027. You can also visit the organization’s website at www. MARCH 2018 Strictly Business 35


American Heart Association: Get Healthy For Good™ at a Heart Walk Near You

CAR T-Cell Therapy Approved by FDA, Moves From Trial to Treatment

The American Heart Association’s Healthy For Good™ movement is rallying millions across the country to live life healthier, inspiring lasting change and unifying people around the simple idea that making a small change today can create a difference for generations to come. Now is the time to fight for lasting change. It’s time to put our health first and create a movement that truly lasts. It’s time that we commit to being Healthy For Good™. How can you get started? Join the American Heart Association for their signature event, The Healthy For Good™ Heart Walk. Heart Walks across the country educate participants of the risk factors of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, and what can be done to prevent it. Funds raised support local medical research and educational programs of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. Survivors of heart disease, stroke and related surgeries are honored the morning of the walk. Open to participants of all ages, there are two chances to lace up those sneakers and walk for a good cause: Saturday, May 12: Omaha-Council Bluffs Heart Walk, locally presented by Physicians Mutual and Metro Credit Union and media sponsor 3 News Now | Miller’s Landing | Saturday, May 19: Lincoln Heart Walk | Haymarket Park |

A promising therapy for people with recurring non-Hodgkin lymphoma and pediatric/young adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia was recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is now available for commercial use at Nebraska Medicine. Nebraska Medicine, which has a nationally recognized lymphoma program, has been involved from the ground floor in developing this therapy and is now able to offer it on a large scale. It was one of the first centers in the Midwest that provided chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy through clinical trials. The therapy is part of growing treatment options in cancer that harness the body’s own immune system to attack a tumor. Treatment for newly diagnosed non-Hodgkin lymphoma and acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients typically starts with chemotherapy. The relapse rate for first time treatment of non-Hodgkin lymphoma is 30 percent and 40 percent for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The majority of these patients will then go on to receive a blood or bone marrow transplant, of which about half of patients will relapse. Patients who relapse after the transplant or are not candidates for a transplant may be potential candidates for CAR T-cell therapy. All Nebraska Medicine staff involved in the therapy have had to undergo and pass a training program before Nebraska Medicine could be approved to administer the treatment. Nebraska Medicine is the only health care network in Nebraska to offer CAR T-cell therapy. To find out if you’re a candidate for this new therapy, please call (402) 559-5600 to schedule an evaluation.

Nebraska Community Blood Bank: Help Meet Growing Need in 2018 You don’t have to donate blood to support blood donation! The community depends on more than just blood donors to provide a stable supply of blood to area hospitals. Thanks to many businesses and organizations who host blood drives or contribute financially or through inkind donations, Nebraska Community Blood Bank (NCBB) is often able to make a bigger impact. One such blood drive is the semi-annual Broadcasters Unite for Life when NCBB, Alpha Media and 10/11 News join forces. For seven years these media drives have brought together blood donors, TV viewers, and radio listeners to help collect record-breaking amounts of lifesaving blood when blood donations drop due to cold and flu season in the winter or busy schedules in the summer. “In 2017 we collected more than 100 units of blood at our media blood drives, and the numbers continue to increase year after year,” said Jami Kassebaum, Lead Donor Recruitment Representative at NCBB. “Each year we find more ways to use our resources collectively to spread awareness about the importance of blood donation and the constant need for blood right here in our community. The media coverage reaches far more people than we ever could on our own. We want to see continued growth and hope to do so with additional sponsorship.” Only 38% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood. Partnerships often give people who are unable to give blood another way to help. If you are interested in learning more, please contact NCBB at / (402) 486-9427. 36 Strictly Business MARCH 2018

Nebraska Registry to Help Newborns at Risk of Neonatal Brain Injury Eric Peeples, M.D., wants to better understand how to identify and treat newborns at risk for neonatal brain injury. To do that, he and Ann Anderson Berry, M.D., Ph.D., neonatal medical director of the Nebraska Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaborative (NPQIC), are working with Peggy Brown, D.N.P., a quality expert in the collaborative, to develop the Neonatal Encephalopathy Registry. The goal of the registry is to gather data to unlock clues that could lead to improved detection and treatment of infants with neonatal encephalopathy – a type of brain injury occurring at or around the time of birth. Drs. Peeples and Anderson Berry are faculty members at the University of Nebraska Medical Center Division of Newborn Medicine and neonatologists at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center and Nebraska Medicine. Dr. Anderson Berry is medical director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Nebraska Medicine. In Nebraska, neonatal encephalopathy may impact up to 200 babies each year. The lack of oxygen and blood flow to the brain that causes neonatal encephalopathy may occur from blood loss around the time of delivery, umbilical cord compression, or decreased blood flow from the placenta, Dr. Peeples said, and can result in cerebral palsy, or a range of moderate to severe disabilities. “Unfortunately, in the majority of these cases we never identify a cause,” he said. Launched in December, the registry already has enrolled a handful of newborns. Plans are to continue to expand the registry across all Nebraska hospitals, followed by expansion into nearby states such as Colorado and Iowa. To enroll, hospital personnel obtain a family’s consent to collect prenatal, delivery, and postnatal data, which ranges from prenatal labs and fetal heart rhythm strips to the infant’s need for anti-seizure medications and results of brain imaging. Developmental data will be obtained through the Nebraska Tracking Infants Progress Statewide program, which follows and identifies delays in development in high-risk infants. The Neonatal Encephalopathy Registry is funded by a competitive grant from COPIC Insurance, which hopes the data will help improve patient outcomes and decrease medical insurance claims.


Special Presentation Slated in Honor of Parkinson’s Awareness Month In honor of Parkinson’s Awareness Month, Parkinson’s Nebraska is hosting a morning reception on Tuesday, April 17 from 8-9:30 a.m. in honor of the vital work and research being done right here in Nebraska by Dr. Howard Gendelman and his team at UNMC’s Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience. This event will take place at The Heritage at Sterling Ridge, located at 1111 Sterling Ridge Drive, Omaha, NE 68144. Coffee and donuts will be served. Dr. Gendelman is credited with unraveling how functional alterations in brain immunity induce metabolic changes and ultimately lead to neural cell damage across a broad range of infectious, metabolic and neurodegenerative disorders. He will be discussing the strides his team has made towards the development of a new class of drugs designed to harness the body’s natural immune system to fight nerve cell injury in Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s Nebraska is committed to helping Nebraskans living with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers. The organization aims to be Nebraska’s number one resource for Parkinson’s disease information, educational programs, exercise classes, and support. For more information about this event, contact Katrina Wulf at (402) 706-7045 / To learn more about Parkinson’s Nebraska, visit their website at www.

Locations Set for Diabetes Education of the Midlands Statewide Educational Events Diabetes Education of the Midlands is hosting Insulin Pump and Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Expos throughout Nebraska in 2018! These learning events are designed to help individuals compare products, understand out-of-pocket costs and personalize their diabetes therapy. Dates/Locations include: Omaha – Diabetes Center of the Midlands, 2910 S. 84th St. – March 1, May 3, June 14, August 2, September 6, and November 1. Lincoln – Hampton Inn & Suites, 8343 Husker Cir. – April 12, July 12, and October 11. Grand Island – Quality Inn Conference Center, 7838 Hwy. 281 – March 13 and November 13. Kearney – Ramada Conference Center, 301 Second Ave. – June 19. What to Expect: • Doors open at 6 p.m. – Meet with manufacturer representatives. • Breakout Presentation at 6:15 p.m. – Brief unbiased overview on all pump and CGM products, along with realistic expectations for pump and CGM therapy. Who Should Attend? • Anyone considering insulin pump and CGM therapy. • Users who are interested in upgrading, comparing products or adding to their current therapy. • Friends and family are welcome! RSVP is encouraged to ensure that a cost estimate can be obtained at the Expo! Call (402) 614-5298 or email pumps@diabetes-supply. com. Check out the organization’s Facebook page for more information.

NSSA Seeking Nominations for Stephanie Wever Courage Award The Nebraska State Stroke Association is seeking nominations for its Stephanie Wever Courage Award, which honors a Nebraska stroke survivor who exemplifies courage in overcoming the effects of stroke. The deadline for nominations is March 30. Nomination forms are available online at www. Stephanie Wever, a stroke survivor and former NSSA board member, died December 25, 2015 at the age of 32. She was dedicated to raising awareness of strokes and her rare genetic defect, ACTA2. Keith Fickenscher was the 2017 recipient. The award will be presented in May during Stroke Awareness Month. For more information, contact NSSA at (402) 484-8131 or hello@ Founded in 1985, the Nebraska State Stroke Association is a private 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The mission of the Nebraska State Stroke Association is to serve Nebraskans through stroke prevention, education, advocacy, and support services.

NAMI Omaha Announces Upcoming Public Educational Meeting NAMI Omaha is excited to share that their next free Mental Health NAMI Affiliate meeting, open to the public, will be held on Thursday, April 5 from 6-8 p.m. This event will feature a slide presentation of NAMI’s newest program “Ending the Silence” (Surrounding Mental Health Conditions). It is a free program that is now available to area schools. No reservations are necessary and a complimentary light meal will be served. These meetings take place the first Thursday of each month at First United Methodist Church, located at 7020 Cass Street in Omaha. Parking is available on the east and north side of the church. Enter through Doors 4 or 6 and proceed to Room 112. NAMI Omaha is a local affiliate of The National Alliance on Mental Illness. They provide free support to family and friends who have a loved one living with mental illness through education, literature, workshops, conferences, support groups and more. They also offer support groups to the individuals who have a mental illness. For information, go to or call (402) 3458101. For helpful articles on mental illness, follow on Facebook at MARCH 2018 Strictly Business 37


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Education No matter how much you know, there is always more to learn. For those contemplating continuing their formal education, it remains a rewarding pursuit. Better yet, there are more options available than ever before, many of which having been designed with accessibility and flexibility in mind. In addition to the strong forward momentum maintained by our universities and community colleges with respect to enrollment for classes offered on campus, based on sustained growth and value of offerings, online degree programs are another popular option for continuing education. Many are opting to go this route exclusively or alternatively, do a combination of classroom and online courses. The most prominent example here locally is University of Nebraska. The University of Nebraska website showcases more than 125 programs online from four highly-respected institutions: University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL), University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), and University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK). The University of Nebraska Online is NU’s collaborative online initiative providing access to academically-respected degrees offered online. NU Online continues the University of Nebraska’s long history of providing high-quality, flexible distance education programs designed to meet the needs of a diverse set of learners, helping build your career and enhance your life. Students experience the same rigor, faculty, and support expected from a leading university, and any degree obtained reflects that. University of Nebraska online programs give adult learners in our community and from around the world access to the opportunity to be taught by the same expert faculty who teach at the four University of Nebraska campuses. Their online courses are challenging, current and relevant. As such, they attract highly qualified, strongly motivated, undergraduate, graduate and professional students who are serious about their education. NU faculty and staff are extraordinarily responsive to student needs, creating a highly interactive community of learners that encourages and values collaboration between professors and students. As a result, you will be well equipped to achieve your academic goals, and to immediately apply what you learn in the workplace. When you choose an online program from the University of Nebraska, you receive: • The high-quality education and student services you’d expect from a leading university. • A degree from the University of Nebraska – diplomas and transcripts for online students are identical to those of on-campus students. • Campuses that are fully accredited regionally by the Higher Learning Commission—a commission of the North Central Association— and many programs that also carry accreditation by prestigious associations in specific fields. • Highly competitive tuition and fees. • Access to outstanding library services, technical support, financial aid advisers and other professionals who are committed to helping you achieve your educational and career goals. Whether your goal is to obtain a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, doctorate, or a certificate or endorsement that will help you further your career, there are a multitude of diverse options available for online programs. These online programs can be found at Whether you’re a first-time student, returning to further your education, or interested in pursuing opportunities for training or development of marketable skills and competencies, it’s important to find the best fit for your needs that will fully support you in reaching your goals. You have so much to offer the world, and our local institutions have so much to offer you! MARCH 2018 Strictly Business 39

JOINING ORGANIZATIONS It’s no big secret that success in the business world is based just as much on who you know as what you know. Fortunately for individuals at all stages of their careers and lives, cultivating both areas at the same time is entirely possible by selecting a professional organization and getting involved. Just a few of the numerous benefits of joining a professional organization, whether it’s specific to your industry, one with which you share common ground otherwise, or an opportunity to branch out from familiar territory, are as follows: Building your network will allow you to make important and lasting connections. Oftentimes you’ll gain a friend, mentor, or ally along the way. Expanding your horizons and trying something new that might be a little outside of your comfort zone, such as an after-hours networking event or presenting to a group, is a surefire way to put yourself in a situation where you’ll learn and grow. Getting together for a community service project or to attend a seminar or conference has the exact same result. Finally, there’s no better place to find out all of the need-to-know information than in a group of fellow business professionals. From sharing leads to facilitating the connection between those seeking jobs and those looking to fill them, the conversation between like-minded individuals naturally leads to the good stuff. Collectively, rest assured the return is well worth the time and effort you’ll invest. All told, there are organizations and associations representative of nearly every profession, industry or special interest group and many have national, regional, state and/or local chapters who would love to have you as a member. You may even want to consider being a member of an industry-specific group as well as a business-oriented organization with a broader focus and membership base. On one hand, you will be contributing to the progress being made in your respective industry and keeping up with advances in your field while learning from others who may have more experience or who will expose you to new ideas. On the other, you will have the opportunity to interact with people outside of your industry sphere who are involved in other fields, which can be an eye-opening experience. Both will greatly enhance your business profile, personal brand, and visibility in your community, making you even more of an asset to your employer as well. Ultimately, why consider membership in a professional organization? The bottom line is that creating professional relationships truly is fundamental to your future success and joining an organization allows you to step outside of the workplace, meet new people and make new connections, gain access to invaluable information and opportunities, and to support and help one another in reaching your goals. If you’re looking to join an organization or want to know more about what’s out there, keep reading – we’ve highlighted some excellent options and encourage you to reach out directly to learn more about how you can get involved!


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Build up with the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce! Our advocacy in the community creates foundations for successful growth, while our members build knowledge, their networks, and confidence through our educational efforts and leadership opportunities. The Sarpy Chamber connects you to an expansive network of professionals in Bellevue, Gretna, La Vista, Papillion, Springfield and the greater Sarpy County. This unique coalition of cities allows members to grow in and beyond their base at the same time. Joining the Sarpy Chamber is building up to your best self, your biggest goals, and your business’ future. For more information on how to build up with the Sarpy Chamber, contact us at (402) 339-3050 or visit

The Empowerment Networ k wor ks together with the residents and leaders to TRANSFORM the ECONOMIC condition and QUALITY OF LIFE of African Americans, North Omaha residents, and citizens of the Greater Omaha area. The goal is to close long-standing gaps in employment, entrepreneurship, education, housing & other quality of life factors to transform Omaha into a great city, thriving and prosperous, in every zip code and neighborhood. The Network CONNECTS the community on a common vision and mission; consistently COMMUNICATES key issues, solutions and priorities; COLLABORATES with individuals, groups and organizations on strategies, programs, policies and fundraising; and CREATES positive change through facilitation, advocacy, capacity-building and leadership development. The Network also generates and presents research and trends and hosts monthly and annual community meetings, summits and conferences featuring local, regional and national speakers. The Network model, recognized regionally and nationally, relies on each person and organization doing their part.

The Cornhusker Chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors continually strives to be the leading voice promoting free enterprise within the construction industry in Nebraska. The organization’s main goal is to provide member companies and their employees with an opportunity to succeed, winning work and delivering that work safely, ethically and profitably for the betterment of the communities in which they work.

For 65 years women in the constr uction industry have had a place to go for career d e ve l o p m e n t , n e t wo r k i n g, e d u c a t i o n a n d m e n t o r i n g. That place is the National A s s o c i a t i o n o f Wo m e n i n Construction (NAWIC). NAWIC gives women a place to develop their leadership skills and forge connections with other women in the industry. NAWIC offers women a multitude of opportunities. With NAWIC you can: • Continue your education. • Establish a networking base. • Be a mentor or mentee. • Make a difference in your community. • Embark on a new career. • Invest in great friendships. The Greater Omaha Chapter meets on the second Thursday of each month at various locations in the Omaha area. Visitors are welcome to attend. Current information about upcoming meeting locations, topics, and times is available on our website at www.

The Rotary Club of Omaha (Downtown Rotary) is a place where new and emerging leaders meet and interact one-onone with established leaders in our community. Our mission has always been the same: Leaders in our community working together to put service above self and the eradication of Polio. We do this by: • Weekly Speakers – Dynamic, relevant and informative. • Operation Hippocrates – We arrange for Omaha cardiac surgeons and hospitals to provide heart surgery and follow-up medical care for children in Belize. • Eradication of Polio – In 1985, Rotary boldly launched the first global campaign to immunize the world’s children against polio. • Outland Trophy – We co-sponsor the annual Outland Trophy award dinner for college football’s outstanding lineman.

Whether a large or small company, joining ABC provides value. ABC offers training, continuing education courses and opportunities for networking and showcasing project successes. Our mission affords us the opportunity to share the industry through student events to help build workforce for Nebraska.

• Community Service – We offer numerous opportunities for community service.

For more information or to discuss joining ABC Cornhusker Chapter, contact Anne Klute at (402) 477-4451 or annek@abcnebraska. org. You can also visit to find out more.

For more information about Downtown Rotary, visit our website,, email or call (402) 342-0281.

• People with Disabilities – We support projects for the disabled and we sponsor J.P. Lord School in the “Adopt a School Program.”

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The Apartment Association of Nebraska (AAN) is the local affiliate of the National Apar tment Association (NAA). The NAA currently has over 170 affiliates, and boasts over 8.7 million apartment homes globally. Founded in 2002, the Apartment Association of Greater Omaha and Lincoln was created by a group of property managers and owners with a vision to help create and maintain a high level of professionalism in the multifamily rental housing industry in the greater Nebraska area. On October 5, 2002, the AAGOL received its charter from the NAA. In 2014, the name was changed to the Apartment Association of Nebraska to better represent their membership. Their members include multifamily owners and management companies, apartment communities, and the supplier members who service this industry. The mission of the Apartment Association of Nebraska is to support, inform, and connect the multifamily community through education, legislation advocacy, and professional networking. For more information about​the Apartment Association of Nebraska and their upcoming events, be sure to visit

We build leadership, strengthen organizations, and elevate Greater Omaha through positive, practical business ethics. In addition to this mission, the Business Ethics Alliance is committed to illuminating Greater Omaha as a beacon for business ethics by elevating the level of ethics dialogue and education within our community. As a non-membership, non-profit organization, we invite individuals of all ranks from small to large employers and associations to align with us. Attend our signature events or hire us to enhance your business–no matter what industry. Learn more at

Invest in your career and be part of an international organization that’s thousands of members (and 80 countries) strong! When you join the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) and its Omaha chapter, you’ll have the opportunity to: • Participate in our professional development luncheons to network and learn from a featured speaker, panel or roundtable discussion. • Meet IABC Omaha members and fellow peers from areas including marketing, human resources, public relations, corporate communications and more. • Learn how you can take your business communication skills and your career to the next level.

BNI Heartland (Nebraska, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Western Iowa) offers members the opportunity to build a firm referral program, to nurture referral partner(s). Last year alone BNI, with over 230,000 members, in more than 8,300 chapters throughout every populated continent of the world, in 73 countries, generated more than 9.3 million referrals which resulted in over $14 billion dollars of tracked business for our members. Cumulatively, since 1985, BNI has generated over $100 billion dollars in tracked business for our membership! Even more important is locally our chapters closed over $40 million in tracked business – creating an ROI of 700 times their investment! Belonging to BNI is like having dozens of salespeople working for you who carry your information with them, and when they meet someone who could use your products or services, they recommend you. BNI provides a structured, supportive system of giving and receiving business. It does so by providing an environment during breakfast, lunch and happy hour meetings in which you develop personal relationships with other qualified business professionals. By establishing this “formal” relationship with other people, you will have the opportunity to substantially increase your business. BNI’s Core Values are Givers Gain, Building Relationships, Life-Long Learning, Traditions + Innovation, Positive Attitude, Accountability, and Recognition! For more information about BNI Heartland, please contact our regional office at (402) 880-6311, email, or visit our website,


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• Volunteer on one of our committees – or as a board member – and use your talents to keep our chapter relevant and fun! For information about our annual membership dues and available positions for the 2018-2019 board year, email IABCOmaha.Info@gmail. com. You can also learn more about our chapter at

T h e N eb r a s k a H o s p i t a l Association (NHA) is a statewide v o l u n t a r y membership health care trade association representing Nebraska’s hospitals and health systems. The health care industry touches many aspects of public policy. The NHA monitors a broad spectrum of issues on behalf of its members. This year, the NHA was deeply involved with legislation affecting credentialing, provider payment models, workforce development, insurance, taxation and health care program funding. Public policy and advocacy priorities are driven by a vision that every Nebraskan has access to affordable, safe, high-quality health care. Through effective leadership, member participation and collaboration with policymakers and other partners, we seek to develop a unified voice to establish effective health care policy. We also provide members with trend and regulatory information, educational programming, communication, data reports and special services. Under the leadership of President Laura J. Redoutey, FACHE, we are proud to celebrate 90 years. Visit to find out more.

The Nebraska Restaurant Association acts as the principal advocate for Nebraska’s hospitality industry and promotes the qualities of strength, unity, and excellence in and of its membership. The Association is dedicated to serving Nebraska’s restaurant and retail beverage industries by providing comprehensive industry education, proactive representation, aggressive industry promotion and the highest quality member benefits. Membership is a small investment with big rewards in the health of your business and the entire food service industry. It’s a big world out there and we will do all we can to make it a bit smaller! For membership information and to learn more about the Nebraska Restaurant Association, contact Brandy Nielson at bnielson@ or (402) 488-3999. Nebraska Restaurant Association is on the web at and

The Millard Business Association (MBA) was established in 2003, and is comprised of more than 350 area businesses who believe strongly in the free enterprise system. The MBA provides the catalyst for our new members to grow and prosper through a variety of events, opportunities, services and programs. Joining this thriving organization is great way to GROW Your Business. Members do not need to reside in Millard. The basic requirement is doing business or wanting to do business in the Millard area. Membership is only $130 per year. Some of the benefits include: Networking and Exposure: “It’s not what you know but who you know.” Make all those important contacts through Networking Lunches, “Bagels & Business” Meetings, Business After Hours and Ribbon Cuttings. Join one of our many active referral groups. Government Representation: Attend one of our Government lunches, meet one-on-one with your local, State, and Federal representatives. Educational Opportunities: Stay competitive, be productive! Our monthly “Lunch and Learns” offer expert advice for today’s economy. Membership Directory: As a member you receive a free listing in the printed and online directory that is distributed across the entire Millard area (30,000 copies printed yearly). Apply for membership at For more information, contact the MBA Admin, Kim Jipp, at (402) 7072827 or email

The West O Chamber has been ser ving the comm unities of West Omaha, Elkhorn, Bennington, Valley and Waterloo since 1980. We are committed to m a k i n g t h e We s t O Chamber a welcoming and inclusive community that attracts a talented and diverse workforce. Our goal is to be an ally for your business as you welcome, connect and engage with other businesses in the community. In 2017, the West O Chamber added in over 150 new, active members and in 2018 they will cross the 500 member mark for the first time in their history. Featuring monthly events including Coffee and Connections, After Hours, The West O Lunch and numerous ribbon cuttings, the West O Chamber has become one of the fastest growing networking groups in Omaha. For more information on the West O Chamber, visit www. or contact our office at (402) 289-9560 /

The Nebraska Statewide Arboretum is a nonprofit that inspires Nebraska gardeners to improve private and public landscapes through tree planting, gardenmaking and education. Our work, made possible thanks to members and donors, takes many forms: • Greener Nebraska Towns. NSA has assisted with 1,500+ projects, and passed through $9 million in funding, to meet community challenges like stormwater management, providing pollinator habitat, etc. • Our Horticulture Program grows and distributes beneficial underplanted native and adapted species. • Our unique network of 100+ public gardens empowers local citizens to create spaces that draw people together and demonstrate beauty and sustainability. • Our publications, web resources, social media outreach, monthly columns, workshops, tours and other events inspire people to improve their lives, their surroundings and their communities. These are physical, environmental efforts that improve personal and social well-being as well. You can make a difference. Plant ecologically. Become a member. Website: | Contact: (402) 472-2971 / arboretum@ Don’t Miss Out! This is an excellent opportunity for your professional organization to gain exposure among our readers, as well as for our readers to familiarize themselves with the local resources available that could make an impact on their personal and professional growth. If you are a local professional organization that is interested in participating in the next JOINING ORGANIZATIONS feature in Strictly Business Magazine, please call (402) 4663330 or email today!

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Strictly Business MARCH 2018

Commercial Construction Just about anywhere you go within the Omaha metropolitan area the growth of the commercial landscape is evident. This holds true for development in Omaha and surrounding suburban cities as well as nearby small towns that are experiencing unprecedented growth of their business districts and municipal areas, or similarly, urban revitalization efforts. All around the Omaha Metro, you’ll see signage in front of the major projects with the familiar, most prominent names in the industry here locally, all of which are currently hard at work at prominent construction sites. As we enter the time of year when construction projects literally “spring up” everywhere, it’s exciting to see the transformation happen through summer and fall. (As opposed to the dreaded road construction everywhere, for which “exciting” would not be the term used by most, although it is a necessary evil.) Furthermore, in addition to breaking ground on new and exciting projects, and the many others in the various stages up until completion that are visible to passersby, there are plenty in the planning stages too.

{The Project} Here in the Omaha Metro, we’re fortunate to have some of the best in the business when it comes to experienced, highly-skilled industry professionals. That being the case, when selecting the right one(s) for the job, it’s more about what you want to accomplish and how you want to go about it. There are several project delivery methods – design/bid/build, design/ build, and construction management. In the traditional design/bid/build method, the owner contracts with separate entities for the design and construction of the project. The owner first engages an architect and gets the plans put together. If an architect has been brought on board for a project, it’s a good sign to the other professionals that it’s going to move forward, so it does generate interest from contractors. The project is then put out for bid, which can be to a public (open) or private (select) audience of contractors. Generally, if it’s public, the lowest bidder with a responsible proposal will be selected. If it’s private, that’s not always the case. Once the build phase has been awarded to the contractor,

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the construction process begins. The general contractor generally limits their role to managing the construction process and daily activity at the construction site, while subcontractors will be used for supplying materials and installation. With design/build, the owner hires a general contractor, and that company hires the professionals for design or does the design work in-house and is responsible for performing all of the work that’s called for in the plans. Finally, in the construction management role, the general contractor works as an agent of the owner and an advocate on their behalf. They are there to oversee everything, and through active involvement and offering recommendations, ensure the owner gets the best value. Although the fundamentals remain largely the same among firms across the industry, there is a certain degree of variance that lies in the smaller details, with aspects and approaches that make each unique. “There are a lot of great contractors in the area,” notes Justin Kurtzer with Cheever Construction. “What we feel really sets us apart is we are an employee-owned firm. When someone shows up on the job site there’s a personal investment as well as involvement on a professional level. You’ll find that to be the same no matter who you work with at Cheever. Our clients understand that and appreciate that; there’s a mutual trust and respect between us that establishes a solid foundation from the start that extends throughout the project. Justin Kurtzer As a commercial general contractor, Cheever Cheever Construction Construction provides complete coordination of obtaining competitive bids from all trade subcontractors, administering contracts and supervising all phases of construction. Cheever Construction has a proven track record as the builder on many types of commercial projects: schools, churches, office buildings, medical facilities, manufacturing, and senior living. We routinely complete smaller-


Strictly Business MARCH 2018

scale projects and large multi-million projects alike. Recently our involvement by project type has been skewed towards medical facilities, and we’re seeing a lot of interest in senior housing too. For both, the demand is predominantly being driven by baby boomers. These are trends nationwide and Nebraska continues to have prime opportunities for development in those areas as well as in other key market segments. Educational institutions are another big one. There has been a significant push recently with the addition and enhancement of K-12 schools and facilities. Development of university and community college campuses is also ongoing, with many improvements being made and new facilities being added. If you’re considering doing any type of commercial construction project, my advice would be don’t rush it. It’s an involved process, so it does take time, and longer than one might think, to get quality results. Ask for references, review past examples of work, and talk to others who have undertaken similar projects. Finally, let the professionals help guide you through the process and keep your expectations high but reasonable at the same time.” While there is a lot of development on the outskirts of the city as it expands and new areas are being zoned for commercial or residential use, there’s also plenty going on centrally and spread throughout the business districts and historic neighborhoods of the Omaha Metro area. You’ll find this to be true in Aksarben Village, Benson, Old Market, Dundee, La Vista, Papillion, Ralston, Bellevue, and so on. Here, since it’s not commonly open land unless a building is razed to make way for something new, there are generally two options, with the other being repurposing the existing structure. “We’ve seen a large push to rehabilitate buildings and structures versus demolishing them and rebuilding,” says Matt Buol-Ferg Matt Buol-Ferg with McGill Restoration. “This decision is usually driven by cost, and there are many new McGill Restoration

technologies, products, and applications that allow for the rehabilitation of these structures and maintain or even improve their performance. As previously mentioned by another professional, be prepared to spend time on educating yourself on the new technologies that are being developed. Vendors and manufacturers are usually more than happy to come in and talk to you about the ‘new toy’ that they have to offer. Understanding what that is and how you can use it to benefit your projects is important and will keep you competitive. At McGill Restoration, we are always looking into new and innovative solutions to improve our offerings. New products and new ways of performing jobs are constantly being developed. Staying on top of those new innovations keeps us more aware of what’s going on the industry as well as keeping us competitive.” As there are many different professionals involved in a single commercial construction project, Buol-Ferg also notes, “Having the technical knowledge and experience to look at a set of drawings and specs and understand what the architect and/or engineer is trying to accomplish is invaluable. So is good communication and attention to detail. In my role as Lead Estimator, having the ability to quickly transition from project to project, and compartmentalize the information from each, depending on the needs at that moment of the team is extremely important. I may look at 5 or 6 projects throughout the day, and if I can’t keep the information from each one separate it will cause problems.” {The Integration} Being detail-oriented is a core trait that is shared by professionals across all fields involved in the various stages of construction projects. From planning to execution, there is a lot to take into account in order to deliver an end result that best serves the client. Aesthetics and functionality are equally important elements of a commercial space, and accordingly, should be cohesive. Today, with technology integration becoming commonplace, and offering a world of possibilities, it will surely be a part of the equation on both accounts. “Commercial construction projects seem to be focusing on the aesthetics and functionality of boardrooms, meeting rooms and collaboration spaces more than ever before,” says Jason Muehlhausen with Echo Systems. “To that end, room scheduling is a trend on the rise. Room scheduling integrates with popular calendaring programs you’re already using to improve workflow and room usage. Also, direct view LED video wall technology is becoming an increasingly popular video wall solution due to its ability to deliver seamless Jason Muehlhausen images, scalability to any size or shape, and Echo Systems excellent optical characteristics. The new LED video walls span from 0.9 to 20-millimeter pitches. Echo Systems specializes in design-build A/V subcontracting, A/V system design, engineering, installation, programming, consulting, video conferencing, A/V control systems, lighting control, motorized shade solutions and video surveillance. We mainly perform work for clients who are building and improving their corporate, financial, higher education, healthcare, and house of worship institutions. As a design-build A/V subcontractor, we usually recommend the addition of a fully-integrated A/V control system during a new construction project for commercial use, specifically for the areas I previously mentioned. Specific A/V control systems allow clients to monitor A/V equipment over their network. Another recommendation is integrated lighting control and motorized shades to conserve energy costs, which can benefit any commercial-use space.” As one might expect, advancements in technology that apply to commercial construction projects are abundant and ever-evolving. Technology has indeed revolutionized many aspects of how commercial-use projects are built as well as what is being built for the end-user and its functions once completed and in use. We’ve already covered A/V integration, but building management systems are another great example. “Building management systems (BMS) provide efficient control of internal comfort conditions, effective use of energy, and quick and effective

MARCH 2018 Strictly Business


responses to HVAC and security problems that save both time and money,” Pat Killeen with Engineered Controls articulates. “The BMS systems also provide information on problems in the building, allow for computerized maintenance scheduling, are easy and effective for employees to use, and easily detect problems. There is now considerable interest in energyefficient buildings, high-tech devices and enhanced security systems that are now central components of building management systems. Pat Killeen For example, lighting control systems with Engineered Controls dimming and light-harvesting capabilities are generating an especially high demand. By integrating HVAC, lighting and security functions all within one common BMS platform, a building’s power systems--lighting and illumination; electric power and control; security, video surveillance and magnetic card access; heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems--will all be monitored and controlled from one central location. Although hardwired building management systems have been around since the late 70s, wireless technology has revolutionized the building automation system market. Long-range analysis shows that there are a number of business sectors that are currently and will continue to drive the BMS sector of the building technology industry in the future. These include the demand for ‘green building technology,’ electrical energy management systems, LED lighting and lighting controls, security and access systems, asset management, smart buildings and the technology convergence into one holistic Building Management System.” For those taking on projects in the future, he advises, “I would tell clients interested in adding building control technology to their new building to do their research. There is plenty of information on the internet today that will make the average building owner much more knowledgeable about what


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is available in the commercial construction market than anyone realizes. Next, I would suggest that building owners need to get to know the consulting engineers that are designing their buildings. It is crucial that building owners are smart consumers and participate in the design process. Since the new construction industry consists of architects, consulting engineers, general contractors, mechanical contractors, and so on, many of the basic decisions that are being made regarding system type, configuration, manufacturer, functionality, etc. are all being made by everyone EXCEPT the customer. Far too often we see building owners moving into a new building only to find out that they did not get what they wanted. Or occasionally the BMS system is too complicated for them to operate. The moral of the story is to get involved, ask questions, know what you want, and know what you are getting BEFORE the decisions are made by everyone but you, the customer.” {The Contract} Along the same lines, the formal agreement you enter with the professionals you’re hiring for your project should cover all aspects of the project scrupulously. Emphasizing the importance of clear language in a construction contract, Goosmann Law Firm offers the following advice: “Construction and contracts operate in the same way – multiple parts coming together to form one cohesive item. Construction projects require specifications for measurements, elements of building products, and the amount of materials to be used. Contracts are put together as a document that addresses the intentions of the parties involved. Construction contracts are based on the premise that someone wants something built or fixed, and someone else agrees to build or fix something. If only the drafting of construction contracts could be that simple. Construction contracts set out the responsibilities, obligations and duties of the parties involved. The parties generally intend to follow those

responsibilities, obligations, and duties. The intentions of the parties, however, are not always set out in clear, unambiguous terms. Ambiguity can arise when a term or phrase in a contract can be reasonably interpreted to have more than one meaning. To minimize the possibility of ambiguity in a construction contract, consider the following tips: 1. Use plain language, with straightforward terms and clauses. A contract that becomes bogged down in technical terms or run-on clauses will open the door for claims of ambiguity. Clear, succinct, and easy-to-understand phrasing helps the parties express their intentions without too much ‘legalese.’ 2. Take punctuation seriously. A misplaced or omitted comma could mean dire consequences. In early 2017, the United States First Circuit Court of Appeals sided with delivery drivers who argued four years of overtime pay was due because an Oxford comma was missing in their contract language. If you want to know how the case turned out, Google ‘10 million-dollar Oxford comma.’ 3. If a technical term or industry-specific term is used, add the definition of the term to the contract. If the term becomes an issue for litigation or arbitration, the outcome will be determined on how the parties intended the term to be used at the time the contract was executed. A clear definition in the contract of terms will help alleviate questions of ambiguity that could be raised. Careful contract drafting is a valuable way to avoid disputes. If you find a construction contract too wordy, or too vague, read it out loud. Make sure you understand what you are reading, and that it matches your intentions for agreeing to the contract. For additional information regarding construction law and contracts, contact our Omaha law firm today at (402) 280-7648 or visit our website at” {The Space} Finally, beyond the construction of the building, establishing the infrastructure, and installation of the main systems, there are many other details that will go into finishing a commercial space. Once those items are complete, it then will undergo a transformation on the inside to become your office, shop, boutique, salon, restaurant, showroom, etc. Having the opportunity to make the space your own, for many, is the most exciting part of the process. From the flooring and paint to cabinets and finishes to furniture and décor, the potential here is limitless. Working with a professional interior designer is advised, as well as the design team at any of the vendors you’ll use for the different features. When making decisions with these professionals, it’s easy to focus on the price tags associated with the options, but don’t lose sight of the fact that the quality of materials is imperative. Durability and longevity are key to getting the most out of your investment. Using tile as an example, larger tiles in a quality porcelain material have gained popularity because of their attractiveness and durability, and larger floor mat tiles, plank tiling, faux wood, and other scratch-resistant finishes remain on trend for the same reasons. It’s worth paying an extra dollar or two per square foot for a finished product that will look much better as well as having a longer life before replacement is needed. A professional will be able to guide you as to the pros and cons of the various materials you’re thinking about incorporating to ensure you’re making an educated decision. For anything that has to do with tile design and installation, Modern Concepts Tile will deliver a functional yet at the same time attractive, unique, and impressive end product. Again, you get what you pay for, and the appearance of your place of business, inside and out, and the environment you’re able to create is part of your brand signature and an extension of your reputation. The impression it makes on your customers and those who are considering doing business with you in the future, and the effect it has on your employees, is not to be underestimated. {The Tools} Attention contractors: Have you ever been working on a project and discovered you needed a certain tool or piece of equipment that you

didn’t have readily available? Chances are it’s not something you use on a regular basis, which means investing in purchasing it might not be the best option. Instead, consider renting it to get the job done! Meeting that exact need for Omaha-area contractors, Honeyman RentAll can provide almost any type of tool or piece of equipment that would be used for a commercial construction project. Troy Honeyman with Honeyman Rent-All advises, “Many times on the job, you might need something that you don’t own or have on-hand. That is where we can be of assistance, as we have a wealth of equipment and tools that are available for rental and our staff is here six days a week to help you find exactly what you need to complete the job successfully. We provide hands-on service and if you’re not fully sure how to operate the equipment, we’ll make sure you get a basic tutorial and leave feeling confident about it. At Honeyman Rent-All we take pride in our extensive rental inventory, which includes a wide variety of equipment for specialized projects such as demolition, concrete, drills and attachments, drywall and wallpaper, electric hand tools, floor and carpet, landscaping, generators and welders, hoists, jacks, ladders, lifts, lighting and electrical, measuring and locating, painting, plumbing, pumps and hoses, saws, tractors and trailers, trenchers and skid steers, climate control, cutters, and air equipment. We look forward to working with you to ensure that you have the right equipment and tools for the job, so that you can complete it on time and deliver a quality finished product!” As a significant investment to put it lightly, if construction is a part of the future you envision for your business, there’s a lot at stake. With so much to consider, it’s equal parts exciting and overwhelming. But in the wise words of pioneering psychologist Abraham Maslow, “You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety.” To literally grow your business oftentimes requires physical expansion, making it a wholly worthwhile undertaking when all is said and done.

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Strictly Business MARCH 2018

MARCH 2018 Strictly Business



Strictly Business MARCH 2018

Strictly Business Omaha March 2018  
Strictly Business Omaha March 2018