The Big O! Excellence Awards recognizes the contributions that area businesses make to the vibrant business community of Greater Omaha. Listen in for best practice tips from the honorees.
Business Woman of the Year
Honors exceptional women leaders who have excelled in their chosen field, devoted energy to strengthening the community and developed others.
Beverly Kracher, Ph.D., Business Ethics Alliance at Creighton University
"The Chamber is proud to partner with this fantastic organization, and we applaud Beverly's dedicated to the Alliance's mission and goals," said David G. Brown, president and CEO of the Chamber.
Linda M. Dugan, PayPal
Audrey Hulsey, Pegasus Travel Center/American Express
Corporate Citizen of the Year
Encourages corporate social responsibility by recognizing an organization whose philosophy of giving has made a significant impact on the Omaha metropolitan community's health and well-being.
"ConAgra understands it's not enough to simply provide quality products. It's also dedicated to doing what's right, finding better ways to be a good steward of the environment and giving back to the communities it serves," Brown told the audience.
Rybin Plumbing & Heating Co.
Innovator of the Year
Acknowledges innovators who are creatively making a difference, by recognizing an individual or an organization that has both envisioned and executed on an opportunity.
"The MindMixer team is excited to see what the future holds for online engagement and intends to play a significant role in changing the culture of engagement across all communities," said Brown.
Schrock Innovations Computer Company
WebEquity Solutions® LLC
Minority Business of the Year
Distinguishes a successful ethnic minority-owned business or organization that has demonstrated business growth and contributions to the community and that has an operating history of at least three years.
"Rodrigo Lopez and his team at AmeriSphere are helping to make a bold impact in communities across the country," Brown told the crowd.
Navarro Enterprises Construction, Inc.
Nobbies Party Superstore
Nonprofit of the Year
Recognizes an organization for its excellent stewardship of resources and exceptional outcomes. Eligible organizations have full 501(c)(3) accreditation, an operating history of at least three years and a volunteer governing board.
Goodwill Industries Inc., serving Eastern Nebraska and Southwest Iowa
"Goodwill changes lives and strengthens communities through education, training and work, and it is our privilege to honor the organization today," said Brown.
Methodist Hospital Foundation
Visiting Nurse Association
Small Business of the Year
Honors a business with 50 employees or less for their commitment to strong customer service and community involvement. The recipient is chosen from the past year's Small Business of the Month award recipients.
Office Furniture Installers, Inc.
"Jay Bolding and his team at Office Furniture Installers don't want to simply serve their customers; they want to "WOW" them. That commitment to outstanding customer service, quality, safety and employee development has allowed the company to thrive since its inception in 1993," said Brown.
Inter-Tech Collision Centers
Terry Hughes Tree Service
Prior to the announcement of each recipient, videos were shown highlighting the nominees' best practices. "All of our 18 finalists can serve as an inspiration to others," said Brown.
Overarching themes included:
- Surrounding yourself with the best, brightest and those who believe in your mission
- Recognizing, rewarding and giving a voice to those who work hard and take pride in their work
- Being careful with the assets with which you are entrusted
- Putting yourself in the customers' shoes
- Being a company you'd want to work with
- Never stopping learning
- Giving back to your community - and the community gives back to you.
- Being open-minded and innovative
- Thinking "How can I make this better?" - and then doing it
- Striving to be the best in all that you do, and above all, always doing the right thing
In addition to the six award categories, the Chamber honored the significant anniversaries of Chamber members through the Milestone Awards.
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