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FOUND ED IN 2012

2019 HONOREES

Eyman Plumbing Heating & Air Darwin Hanssen Ron VanOeveren Dan Williams Pinnacle Bank A

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SARPY COUNTY BUSINESS HALL OF FAME

SUBURBAN NEWSPAPERS INC.

May 15, 2019

2019 Sarpy County Business Hall of Fame

Recognizing positive impacts in the community P

revious Business Hall of Famers have set the bar high for a program that recognizes those who work to make Sarpy County grow and prosper. Suburban Newspapers in partnership with title sponsor Bellevue University and event sponsor Sarpy County Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) will officially recognize the 2019 honorees at today’s induction ceremony. The ceremony will be at the John B. Muller Administration Services Building on the Bellevue University campus. Social hour begins at 4 p.m., with the ceremony at 4:30 p.m. Plaques saluting the inductees can be found inside the Durham Administration Building on the Bellevue University campus.

You work hard. You give a lot. You deserve this recognition. Thank You! Darwin Hanssen

Ron VanOeveren

DJs Dugout – Bellevue

Cornhusker Sign & Manufacturing – Gretna

Pinnacle Bank

Eyman Plumbing Heating & Air

Papillion

Proud sponsor of the Sarpy County Business Hall of Fame

La Vista

Dan Williams

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SUBURBAN NEWSPAPERS INC.

SARPY COUNTY BUSINESS HALL OF FAME

May 15, 2019

The Honorees • As a boy, Dan Williams fell in love with fireworks. That passion has never wavered. A business owner for the last 23 years, Dan launched his fireworks company 10 years ago. He now proudly creates with producers in China the products that the company offers to consumers. • Encouraged by wife Joy, Darwin Hanssen opened DJ’s Dugout in Bellevue in 1993. Today, he is about to open his seventh location and will be responsible for nearly 350 employees. A veteran, Darwin is both proud and humble about what he has created. • Pride in a job well done has served Eyman Plumbing Heating & Air well for more than 60 years. Bob and Marie Eyman started the family-owned business in 1957. The business has grown immensely, and today a fourth generation is on board and will soon be ready to lead. • The Dinsdale family opened a farming-community bank in 1938. Today Pinnacle Bank has expanded to seven states with more than 150 branches and $11 billion in assets. Each branch takes pride in the community it serves, says Chairman of the Board Sid Dinsdale. • Ron VanOeveren started Cornhusker Sign while attending college in Lincoln, making his first neon signs in the extra room in his apartment. He moved with his family and his business to Gretna in 1998. Ron works hard, and makes it a point to help make Gretna a better city.

Congratulations

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SARPY COUNTY BUSINESS HALL OF FAME

SUBURBAN NEWSPAPERS INC.

May 15, 2019

The Speakers Debra Blue

Paula Creps

Dr. Julia Cronin-Gilmore

Debra Blue has been an active mediator and facilitator for 18 years. Her experience is in family mediation, including specialized alternative dispute resolution cases, restorative justice/victim youth conferencing, special education and child welfare facilitation. Blue received a degree in behavioral science with an emphasis in communication. Blue has 19 years of experience as a CASA. She has served 10 children in six families over her years as a CASA. Blue has a passion for child advocacy. She aims to give a voice to children who may not otherwise have one.

Paula Creps received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and master’s degree in public administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Creps has over 20 years of experience in the human services field in various capacities. In her role as the executive director of Sarpy County CASA, she supervises volunteers, secures funding for the program by managing grants, participates in public speaking events, serves on various committees and boards, and oversees management of the program.

Dr. Julia Cronin-Gilmore is a professor of business at Bellevue University. She has been honored with several awards, including being published in the “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers” numerous times. She has published a book titled “Small Business Marketing Strategy” and has been published in several academic journals. Cronin-Gilmore serves on many boards of directors, including Cobalt Credit Union. Cronin-Gilmore holds a Ph.D. in business administration specializing in marketing, a master’s of art in management and a bachelor’s of science in marketing.

On behalf of the Citizens, Mayor & City Council and Staff,

Congratulations, Eyman Plumbing! Congratulations, Rotella’s!

Congratulations to all 2019 inductees!

Thank you for your contributions to La Vista and Sarpy County!

Watchmakers - Goldsmiths Diamond and Stone Setting Engraving

Erwin’s Jewelers Co. Serving Bellevue since 1958 2095258-01

223 West Mission • Bellevue | 402-291-2454

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SARPY COUNTY BUSINESS HALL OF FAME

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SUBURBAN NEWSPAPERS INC.

SARPY COUNTY BUSINESS HALL OF FAME

May 15, 2019

Sports bars a whirlwind of success Encouragement by wife leads to a dynasty of DJ’s Dugouts By Eugene Curtin Suburban Newspapers

Eugene Curtin/Suburban Newspapers

Darwin Hanssen has grown his Bellevue DJ’s Dugout sports bar into a metrowide network of restaurants.

Darwin Hanssen is a quiet man who never pictured himself dominating a prominent industry in the Omaha metro area back when he was sweeping floors and digging ditches, or helping install sewer infrastructure during the housing boom of the 1990s. Amazing what 26 years and hard work will do. Today, Hanssen is the undisputed king of the sports bar industry in the greater Omaha area, owner of six DJ’s Dugouts with a seventh on the way. His sprawling restaurants dot the metro landscape, from the original DJ’s Dugout at 25th Street and Cornhusker Road in Bellevue, to Omaha’s Old Market, Aksarben Village, 114th Street and Dodge Road, 180th and Q streets, Plattsmouth, and, soon, 192nd Street and West Maple Road in Elkhorn. The story begins in 1972 after Hanssen returned from a year’s service in Vietnam and joined his fiancée — now wife of 47 years, Joy — after she took a job in Bellevue as a

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SARPY COUNTY BUSINESS HALL OF FAME

SUBURBAN NEWSPAPERS INC.

hairstylist. Both natives of South Dakota, and sweethearts since high school, the Hanssens settled down to life in Bellevue, where Darwin started work at an Olde Towne electronics store sweeping floors and cutting grass. The owner paid him partially with company stock, which, after the business closed its doors 10 years later in 1982, paid him $35,000. It’s a long and winding story, but that $35,000 bought Hanssen a onethird share in a construction company partially owned by Bellevue developer Duane Menke, who built the strip mall on the northeast corner of 25th Street and Cornhusker Road. That attracted the attention of the Omaha owners of The Scorecard sports bar, who opened a location there but abandoned the effort within six months after widening work on Cornhusker Road hurt their business. That left Menke the owner of a sports bar in which he had little interest. Hanssen had been in construction with him for 10 years by 1993, and Menke knew he was looking for something else. A sports bar, he told Hanssen, was just the thing for him. He should buy it. “My wife said I should do it,�

Hanssen recalled. “She said I wouldn’t be happy if I didn’t do it. I would never know if I didn’t try.� Having previously used his GI benefits to earn a business marketing degree at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Hanssen formed a 50-50 partnership with Menke. He persuaded the staff to stay, helped cook the food, installed additional televisions himself after hours and basically lived at the place. He renamed it DJ’s Dugout, the “D� for Darwin, the “J� for Joy. Six years later, in 1999, he bought The Scorecard at 114th Street and West Dodge Road and renamed it DJ.s Dugout, his second restaurant. The years since have been a whirlwind of development in which Hanssen has turned his recipe of good food, prompt service, cold beer and oceans of televisions into a runaway success. He started with 14 to 18 full- and part-time employees in that first Bellevue DJs. After the Elkhorn restaurant opens, that number will climb to 350. “It is kind of mind boggling, I guess,� Hanssen said. “I’ve had my struggles. Believe me, there have been times when I didn’t know if I was going to make it. I’m still amazed at it sometimes when I sit back and think about it.�

May 15, 2019

Amazing what 26 years and hard work will do.

         

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL 2019 INDUCTEES! The Metro Area For Over 45 Years Tr usted In BUY ✎ SELL ✎ TRADE ✎ PAWN

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SUBURBAN NEWSPAPERS INC.

SARPY COUNTY BUSINESS HALL OF FAME

May 15, 2019

Third generation leads company “A familyowned business becomes your life.” — Connie Eyman

Several Eyman family members are featured in this 2015 photo. Front, from left, Tim Eyman, Anne Eyman and Terry Eyman. Back, Brian Eyman, Tom Eyman and Scott Eyman. Anne passed away in 2017.

Eyman family takes pride in a job well done for decades By Eric Taylor Suburban Newspapers There are a lot of reasons why Eyman Plumbing Heating & Air has been a mainstay in the metro area for more than 60 years, but the family believes one simple philosophy has been the backbone of its success — pride. It’s that pride that began with Bob and Marie Eyman when they opened the business in 1957 and has now filtered its way through four generations. Bob and Marie started the business in South Omaha and eventually passed it on to Bob Jr. and his wife, Anne. Their three sons — Tom, Tim and Jerry — now run the business with sons of their own in line to continue the tradition. Connie Eyman, the wife of Tom, has worked in the office for the past 11 years. She understands the dynamic of running a family business isn’t without its challenges.

“A family-owned business becomes your life,” Connie said. “The boys saw their dads have to leave a lot during holidays or family events and thought that was a way of life. It does demand more than people realize. “The one thing about family businesses is that the third generation is when they often demise. But for these boys, it’s their name and their livelihood. The way you beat that third generation dying is because they have such a strong sense of pride.” Connie said the three brothers have also been strong leaders in the business, a trait they saw exhibited in their mother. “Bob Jr. died when he was 62, but Anne continued to work here into her 80s,” Connie said. “She was a good business person, and as the business grew, she realized she had to bring in outside people. “She knew that if this business was going to support multiple families, it had to grow.” Part of that growth came in 2000 when the business re-located from South Omaha to its current location at 8506 S. 117th St. in La Vista. “When we built this building, we assumed we’d have to lease part of it because we never thought we’d fill it,” Connie said. “But that shows you how

much things have changed. We couldn’t have made it if we didn’t make the move out here. We’ve probably grown more over the last five to six years than at any other time. “We are expanding our offices to the west. We’re getting more industrial work, and while it’s in its infancy stages, we hope to see that grow.” Eyman Plumbing serves commercial, industrial and residential needs, mostly within about a 30-mile radius. What started specifically with plumbing and drains has new become a full-service company that features HVAC (heating, ventilating, air conditioning) and boiler repairs as well as a recently added fitting department. The business, which has grown to 116 employees, has seen its share of changes since 1957, but one thing that hasn’t changed, nor likely will, is the way it has treated customers for nearly six decades. “You want to put yourself in their shoes and look at every affordable option for them,” Connie said. “They might not need your business now, but they’re going to remember how you treated them, and a year from now, they might need us. “Tom has always said treat every customer like it’s your mom.”


SUBURBAN NEWSPAPERS INC.

SARPY COUNTY BUSINESS HALL OF FAME

May 15, 2019

Congratulations, 2019 Honorees

CONGRATULATIONS 2019 Sarpy County Business Hall of Fame Honorees!

Dan Williams-Wild Willy’s Fireworks Darwin Hanssen-DJ’s Dugout Eyman Plumbing Heating & Air Pinnacle Bank Ron VanOeveren-Cornhusker Sign & Manufacturing THANK YOU for always going above and beyond to do MORE for our community.

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Congratulations

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SARPY COUNTY

BUSINESS Hall of Fame

Darwin Hansen

We appreciate all you do for SARPY COUNTY and your support of MIDLANDS COMMUNITY FOUNDATION!

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SUBURBAN NEWSPAPERS INC.

SARPY COUNTY BUSINESS HALL OF FAME

May 15, 2019

The company has grown beyond its humble beginnings.

Brody Hilgenkamp /Suburban Newspapers

Sid Dinsdale outside the Papillion branch of Pinnacle Bank, which got its start in Palmer, Nebraska.

Community is the focus of institution From Palmer to Papillion, Pinnacle Bank proudly serves customers By Brody Hilgenkamp Suburban Newspapers It was both a natural step and a milestone when the Dinsdales expanded the family business to Papillion in 1968. That was the year brothers Roy and Jack Dinsdale bought the A.W. Clarke Bank, which was later renamed Bank of Papillion and then Pinnacle Bank, and brought their company’s long history of supporting and investing in communities to Sarpy County. “Even though at that time it was a little farm town, he could see that someday it would be part of the Omaha metro,” said Sid Dinsdale of Roy, his father. Sid Dinsdale is now the chairman of the board of Pinnacle Bank, which has more than 151 bank branches in seven states with $11 billion in assets and is a 2019 inductee into the Sarpy County Business Hall of Fame. Pinnacle Bank got its start in 1938 in Palmer, Nebras-

ka, when Sid’s grandfather and great-uncle, George and Tom Dinsdale, partnered with local farmers to open a bank. The Dinsdales are a farming and cattle feeding family, Sid said, and in the 1950s George’s sons Roy and Jack started expanding the banking business to other farming towns and county seats. “He just always wanted to expand,” Sid Dinsdale said of Roy, who even at 92 years old is “built to grow.” Sid was a junior in high school in Palmer when the company expanded to Papillion. It marked the first time the company had a bank in a metro area. It was never a plan to expand to a metro area, Sid said. He never heard his father explicitly say he wanted to go to a metro area, and the Dinsdales have never been strategic planners, Sid said. Instead they focused on good opportunities in strong communities, and Papillion fit the description. “He just thought it was a good little town and a good location,” Sid said. Even though the company grew beyond those humble beginnings, Pinnacle Bank is still a community-focused bank organization, Sid said. Each branch has its own president and balance sheets, and each president

knows what the branch’s total deposits are and its performance each month. That model is what gives Pinnacle Bank its strength, Dinsdale said, because each bank has the ability to form an identity that fits its community while still having the resources of a larger charter at its disposal. “We think this gives us a great structure because local people know their market better than I can,” Dinsdale said. “Most people like to be able to make decisions and will try their hardest to make the right decision. Our character makes being a community banker attractive.” Dinsdale has seen that play out in his four decades of experience with the company. He got his start at the Bank of Papillion in 1978 and since then has worked at a branch in Colorado, as president of Bank of Papillion and president of the whole company and now as chairman of the board. Since the community is important to the success of Pinnacle Bank, it’s important that the company in turn supports the community, and that includes Papillion. “We want to be known as a great community supporter whatever market we’re in,” Dinsdale said.


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SARPY COUNTY BUSINESS HALL OF FAME

SUBURBAN NEWSPAPERS INC.

May 15, 2019

Neon glow brightly lights Gretna man’s future Cornhusker Sign owner turned passion into success over 25 years By Rachel George Suburban Newspapers It was a humble start for Ron VanOeveren, who recently celebrated 25 years of business for his Cornhusker Sign & Manufacturing Corp. He started his business while attending college and managing an apartment complex in Lincoln with his wife, Lisa, where the couple lived in a two-bedroom apartment with their first child. Interested in old cars since his childhood, VanOeveren began styling neon garage signs in his spare time, taking them to car shows and selling them to local enthusiasts. Eventually, his product made its way into a tire company’s catalog. “The second bedroom was the office/ workshop/nursery,” he said. “I was making these signs in the back room at night and taking them to UPS on my way to work in the morning.” The purchase of a vinyl cutter, necessary to make the neon signs, opened up further opportunity for VanOeveren and the venture began to grow. After the couple moved to Gretna in late 1998, the business branched out to all sorts of signs, even working to restore old soda machines and gas pumps, and installing flagpoles.

Rachel George/Suburban Newspapers

Ron VanOeveren creates his custom neon signs in his Gretna workshop. Active in several organizations, he is a proud member of the Gretna community. “It’s hard to believe we’ve been here in Gretna and business for more than 20 years,” VanOeveren said. “I’m appreciative of the support of our customers and the community. “My dad started his own business

when I was maybe 14, and he just recently retired. He taught me to not be afraid to dig in and work hard.” A father of five girls, VanOeveren became involved with the Gretna Area Chamber of Commerce early on, serving

for a number of years in various roles, including vice president and president of the board. At that time, Gretna Days was an undertaking of the chamber, which allowed VanOeveren to get involved with the annual summer celebration. Staying with that over time and seeing the creation of the Gretna Days Foundation, VanOeveren has now served as vice president of the Gretna Days Foundation for many years. “I enjoy that and see myself staying involved with that for a long time,” he said. VanOeveren is active in the Gretna Knights of Columbus and the Sons of the American Legion, and is a member of the Gretna Optimist Club. He also spends time volunteering to help set up or transport Patriotic Productions’ Remembering Our Fallen memorial, which serves to honor the U.S. military fallen from the War on Terror. VanOeveren said he is honored to be inducted into the Sarpy County Business Hall of Fame among former nominees he has seen as mentors. “I feel like I’m in good company, among some very successful people that I look up to,” he said. “Brad Stauffer, Bob McKinney, Jack Koke — those three guys were all involved with the chamber and Gretna Days when I came to town and got me involved in the business community. They set a good example of how to be involved. “I feel privileged to have had our business here and call this community our home and look forward to the next 25 — or more — years here.”

WE ARE

Father taught him not to be afraid to work hard.

THE LONGEST RUNNING, FAMILY-OWNED

NP DODGE

ESTA ESTA STATE TE COMPANY COMPAN COM PANY IN PAN N THE THE UNI UNITED TED STATES REALL ESTATE

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CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE INDUCTEES!

VOTED THE BEST IN SARPY COUNTY FOR

• RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE • PROPERTY MANAGEMENT • COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

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SARPY COUNTY BUSINESS HALL OF FAME

SUBURBAN NEWSPAPERS INC.

May 15, 2019

Business with a bang Childhood obsession sparks 10 years of success in the fireworks business By Ashley Quintela Suburban Newspapers When bursts of fire illuminated the sky, a young Dan Williams fell in love with fireworks, sparking his interest in creating them himself. Throughout his life Williams, a Springfield native, celebrated the Fourth of July. As he got older, he’d ride his bike into the heart of Springfield and pick out his favorites. “I have always been passionate about fireworks. It never stopped,” Williams said. “It was always my favorite holiday.” In 2009, Williams started his first firework stand in Spring-

Dan Williams had a passion for fireworks from a young age. Now he holds a small empire in the industry. Ashley Quintela Suburban Newspapers

Congratulations Aspen Creek Elementary • 402-332-5617 Gretna Elementary • 402-332-3341 Thomas Elementary • 402-332-5578 Palisades Elementary • 402-895-2194 Whitetail Creek Elementary • 402-895-3388 Aspen Creek Middle • 402-332-3866 Middle School • 402-332-3048 High School • 402-332-3936 Administration Office • 402-332-3265

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field, which eventually expanded into an empire. This year, Williams celebrated Wild Willy’s Fireworks 10th anniversary and was inducted into the Sarpy Business Hall of Fame. “It’s an honor,” he said. Before fireworks, Williams started Tighton Tools in 1996 and owned it for 22 years before selling it. He also owned Toolbarn.com and currently owns Williams Enterprises, LLC, a commercial management, design and building company. In his 20 plus years of business, Williams said he learned there is more to business than making money.

Congratulations to Pinnacle Bank!

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Congratulations to all of the 2019 Hall of Fame inductees.


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SARPY COUNTY BUSINESS HALL OF FAME

SUBURBAN NEWSPAPERS INC.

“There’s a lot of dynamics to business that a lot of people look at, but it’s not all about making money,” he said. “It’s about running the business with integrity and treating people fairly and the employees fairly.” Almost every year, Williams travels to China to develop and purchase products for Wild Willy’s Fireworks. On average, Wild Willy’s Fireworks introduces 30 to 50 new items a year. “We are geared toward true enthusiasts, and when they come to our stands, they know they aren’t going to be duds,” he said. Williams is proud of the quality of products he offers. “We are always trying to put unique things into our products,” he said. Wild Willy’s distributes fireworks across the United States yearround, but during the Fourth of July season the company has more than 80 tents set up across Nebraska and Iowa, most of which are run by nonprofits. Each of the fireworks Williams sells has a QR code on the package. When customers scan the QR code with their phones, a video of that particular firework in action comes up to ensure they are getting a bang for their buck. On average, Williams said he sells about 100,000 cases of fireworks each year, each holding about 406 fireworks. With a passion for fireworks and a mind for business, Williams is proud of what he has built. “We are growing organically, and we are going to continue to grow with integrity,” Williams said. “That’s what our business is based on.”

Thank You to Ron VanOeveren for All You Do to Support the Gretna Community! 402.332.4808 826 Village Square Gretna, NE | 68028 gretnachiropractic.com

Congratulations Ron VanOeveren

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Thank you for contributing your time and talent to the Gretna Community. We appreciate all that you do!

Visit our website at www.gretnachamber.com

“It’s about running the business with integrity.” — Dan Williams

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Congratulations!

May 15, 2019

26 Our staff of ASE certified technicians has been helping get our customers’ vehicles back on the road safely since 1993! Your satisfaction is our guarantee! Stop in and see us today at 1221 Royal Dr. Papillion, NE

2015-2018 WINNER

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SUBURBAN NEWSPAPERS INC.

SARPY COUNTY BUSINESS HALL OF FAME

May 15, 2019

A Dream Come True

The Dream For A Major Expansion In Sarpy County Became A Reality In 1988. Thank You For This Special Induction Into The 2018 Sarpy County Business Hall Of Fame! From the Rotella Family

rotellasbakery.com 2094106-01


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SUBURBAN NEWSPAPERS INC.

SARPY COUNTY BUSINESS HALL OF FAME

May 15, 2019

PAST INDUCTEES

FOUND ED I N 2012

2012 INDUCTEES

• R. Joe Dennis (Developer, founder of Bellevue University) • Andy Anderson (Formerly La Vista Mayor) & Tom Doyle (City Engineer) • Al Wenstrand (Sarpy County Economic Development) • Bob Dressen (TD2, Papillion City Engineer)

• Beardmore Chevrolet • Harlan Falk (Great Western Bank) • Dan Hoins (City of Papillion Administrator)

• • • •

Bellevue University CJ Werner (Werner Trucking) Gail DeBoer (SAC Federal Credit Union) Mike Hogan (Commercial & Retail Developer)

2013 INDUCTEES

• Jolene Roberts (President & CEO, Hillcrest Health Services) • Tim & Jan Vala (Vala’s Pumpkin Patch, Gretna)

2014 INDUCTEES

• John Thompson (Twin Creek Development) • Frank Kumor (Erwin’s Jewelers, Bellevue) • Mary Beth & Jim Harrold (Papillion Flower Patch and Papillion Barbers)

• Brad Stauffer (Gretna Chiropractic) • Pay Pal

2015 INDUCTEES

• Bob McCallie (McCallie & Associates –posthumously) • Doug Zoerb (Pinnacle Bank-Gretna) • Gene Pfahl (Gene’s Auto & Truck Service Inc.)

• Mike Branigan Stylehouse Barbershop (La Vista) • George Rybar (Offutt Collision Repair, Bellevue)

2016 INDUCTEES

• Rick & Rita Sanders (Richmont Village – Richmont Terrace, Bellevue) • Bob McKinney (McKinney’s Food Center-Gretna)

• Doug Kindig (Mayor, City of La Vista) • Jack Koke (Harney Realty, Gretna) • Don Bellino (Bellino Enterprises)

• Rotella’s Italian Bakery (La Vista) • Stella’s Bar & Grill (Bellevue) • Ed Sedlacek (SilverRidge Assisted Living, Gretna)

• Kim Ahlers (Kojama’s Boutique) • Soaring Wings Vineyard (Springfield) • Bank of Nebraska

2017 INDUCTEES

• Keith Hentzen (Springfield Drug and Soda Fountain) • Nebraska Medicine-Bellevue

2018 INDUCTEES

• Doug Speth (Papillion Tire, Papillion) • Sarpy County Fair Board 2089373-01


SUBURBAN NEWSPAPERS INC.

SARPY COUNTY BUSINESS HALL OF FAME

MYTH

It’s only abuse if it’s physical.

FACT

Abuse can be emotional, too.

May 15, 2019

I am for the child The child who lived in motels, cars and shelters. The child who now stands in the entryway of a group foster home, clutching a makeshift suitcase – a garbage bag filled with everything she owns. She is the child I am for. And because of that, she will be half as likely to languish in foster care, and that much more likely to find a safe permanent home. I am a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer.

I am

YOU

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Lift up a child’s voice. A child’s life.

Get involved at www.sarpy.com/casa

Profile for Suburban Newspapers

Sarpy County Business Hall of Fame 2019  

Sarpy County Business Hall of Fame 2019  

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