2019 Annual Report

Accomplishing More Together

This past year, as always, our work was anchored in partnership and collaboration.

We expanded our economic development partnership to span seven counties across two states. We launched several initiatives, addressing opportunity, and inclusion and diversity across the region. We also continued to advocate for your business and a growth-focused economic environment.

As always, we design our annual programming to expand your knowledge and networks in the most efficient way possible. Last year was no different, adding a small business focus to our professional development efforts.

Thank you for continuing to support the Greater Omaha Chamber, an organization committed to ensuring more opportunity, a higher quality of life and a brighter future for everyone. What we’ve achieved is remarkable. What’s ahead is inspiring.

David G. Brown

President and CEO, Greater Omaha Chamber

Lance Fritz

Union Pacific, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
2019 Greater Omaha Chamber Board Chairman

Business Growth – create, grow and recruit businesses, jobs and investment in the region

Because new jobs and investment generate prosperity and drive our community forward

Big stories and small stories abound for the economic development of the region. We continued to support and invest in small businesses and startups through The Startup Collaborative, Kitchen Council and REACH. These unique programs empowered entrepreneurs to realize their dreams and earn a living. REACH members landed more than $4 million in contracts, while The Startup Collaborative generated 48 tech-based startups.

Those entrepreneurial wins alone would be a success, but there’s also the gorilla in the room. Or, the Google in the data center. The announcement of their $600 million investment in Sarpy County headlined another prolific year for the region. We landed 36 new projects for the year across the region and built a significant backlog of quality projects for 2020 as we hosted 72 prospect visits. We also called on more than 400 local firms to seek opportunities for growth or problem solving.

As promised in the Prosper 2.0 strategy, we spent significantly more time and resources focusing on direct foreign investment. The relationships that were developed in Japan, France, Italy and Israel last year will pay dividends as we move forward with specific targets this year and beyond.


Total Landed Projects

  • Number of Landed Projects: 36
  • Capital Investment: $1,034,369,494
  • Jobs Total: 2,339
    • New Employees: 1,703
    • Retained Employees: 636
    • Number of Jobs at or Above Median Wage: 60%

Total Pipeline Data

  • Number of Files Opened: 166
  • New to Market: 119
  • Retention/Expansion Visits: 412
  • Number of Prospect Visits: 72


The Startup Collaborative

  • Number of Startups: 48



  • Value of Contracts Secured: $4,003,393

People – grow, recruit and retain the talent and workforce needed for the future

Because a healthy, vibrant community depends on a skilled and growing labor pool

This past year saw a huge investment in the people that live and work in the Greater Omaha region. We worked with businesses, schools and nonprofit partners to deliver programs and services that support the area’s workforce. The goals we worked toward on behalf of the region’s people are crucial components of our five-year Prosper 2.0 strategy.

These visionary programs include the launch of the Commitment to Opportunity, Diversity and Equity (CODE), the kickoff of the Greater Omaha Worklab (GrOW) and the regional partnership of the OPTiN tech-talent recruitment campaign. Together, these efforts represent an intentional effort to attract, engage and retain our strong, empowered workforce.

We continued to build on the success of our classroom-career pipeline with the expansion of Careerockit. This unique program grew once again, providing students from more than five school districts with exposure to a wide range of vocations across the region. Connecting these students with our engaged young professionals creates a powerful funnel for tomorrow’s workforce.

As always, the Greater Omaha Chamber continues to be at the forefront of Leadership Development, with more and more opportunities for area professionals to grow their skills. With an expanded Mindset Leadership Series, strong event attendance and another class of Leadership Omaha graduates, there is no shortage of dynamic personalities ready to take Omaha into the next decade.


  • 2 Sessions
  • 44 Participants


Leadership Omaha

  • 47 Graduates of Class 42


Omaha Executive Institute

  • 23 Members in the 2019-20 Class


CAREEROCKIT 2019 Numbers

  • 110 schools and nonprofits
  • 20 school districts 
  • 212 employers
  • 21,488 experiences 


Diversity and Inclusion

  • 40 employers signed on to CODE pledge

Place – turn our region into one of the most inspirational communities in the country

Because we’re passionate about where we live.

Not only did our region expand, but it also took steps toward being better connected. In October we added Otoe County to our economic development partnership, bringing Nebraska City and several other communities into the Greater Omaha fold. We also launched ConnectGO, a transportation initiative that is focused on crafting a long-term strategy for building a fully integrated city of the future.

In partnership with the transportation strategy, our Urban Core Committee continued to guide the transformation of the heart of the city. The group initiated studies of Governance, Housing, Retail and Site Design, all of which will be completed by early 2020.

Continued emphasis on building Omaha’s brand and telling our region’s story paralleled efforts in public policy, military outreach and economic development site preparation. The combined initiatives represent a commitment and investment in building a vibrant, inclusive community that supports workforce and business growth.

Public Policy Initiatives

Approved Legislation

  • Metro transit expansion:  LB 492 authorizes creation of a truly regional transit system for Metro Omaha. 
  • Highway construction:  LB 616 provides for accelerated construction of large, high priority highway projects through innovative financing.  
  • Flood control and area development:  LB 177 extends the Papio-Missouri NRD’s critical bonding authority for flood control projects.   
  • Development planning:  LB 452 provides authorization for economic development partner Cass County to join MAPA. 
  • Economic development:  LB 334 directs additional dedicated funding for the Business Innovation Act. 
  • Military:  Two bills that will make Nebraska an even more military friendly state were approved.  LB 12 streamlines real estate licensing for military personnel, and LB 115 eases school enrollment for children of military families assigned to Nebraska bases. 


A number of proposals that would be very damaging to Nebraska’s employers and employees were successfully held off.  First among those would be repeal of the Sub-S/LLC out-of-state income and special capital gains exclusions. 

Earned Media for Greater Omaha Region 

  • Number of Articles/Placements: 1,176
  • Advertising Impressions: 25.58 million

We Don’t Coast Social Media Channels 

  • Facebook Fans: 4,991
  • Twitter Followers: 3,093
  • Instagram Followers: 3,834


  • 109,914 Total Page Views

Competitiveness Rankings

#9 – Nebraska – Best States
#14 – Iowa – Best States
U.S. News – 2019

# 8 – Nebraska – America’s Top States for Business in 2019
CNBC – 2019

#5 – Omaha – 10 U.S. Cities Where Employees are the Happiest
kununu – 2019

#3 – Omaha – Top U.S. Cities Where Millennials Are Moving, and Staying
Financial Advisor – 2019

#17 – Omaha – The Best Cities for New College Grads in 2019
Smart Asset – 2019

#8 –  Omaha – Cities Where Renters Can Afford to Live Alone
Smart Asset – 2019

#8 – Omaha – Cities for the Best Work-Life Balance 2019
Kisi – 2019

#1 – Nebraska – Best States for Retirement
#2 – Iowa – Best States for Retirement
Bankrate – 2019

Core Services – deliver relevant and high quality member programs, events, services and information

Because we work for you — and because of you.

We continue to operate our organization efficiently and effectively. The beginning of our Prosper 2.0 initiatives meant that core services focused on preparing a sturdy infrastructure for expansion. A new customer database system and implementation of standard operation procedures helped solidify a foundation on which to grow.

Employee engagement remained high through this growth period, with 62% of employees reporting they feel involved and enthusiastic about their work. This places the Greater Omaha Chamber in the top third of Gallup’s international database of Q12 participants.

The Greater Omaha Chamber’s visibility in the community was punctuated by thousands of people in attendance at our wide-range of events, growth and engagement across social media platforms and steady mentions in unpaid media throughout the year.

Most important of all, our members were given every opportunity to grow their networks, develop their skills and expertise, make an impact on their community and earn recognition for the work they do. From our Small Business of the Month honors to the Business Excellence Awards, the Chamber increases visibility and access for all our member businesses.

Of particular note were the 2019 Business Hall of Fame and Member Appreciation Holiday Party, both of which gave membership an opportunity to meet, greet and connect with fellow members and area business leaders.

We accomplished not just the core service functions, but also the totality of our 2019 programming, with an emphasis on fiscal responsibility. We ended the year with our books balanced and a strong membership base. 


  • Total Number of Chamber Members: 2900
    • New Members for the Year: 415
    • 86% Member Retention Rate


  • Signature Events Hosted: 6
  • Signature Event Attendees: 7,274
  • Networking Event Attendees: 2,556
  • Total Event and Program Attendees: 10,000+
  • Event Satisfaction: 4.6/5 Satisfied/Very Satisfied


  • Total Revenue (Estimated Through Nov. 2019): $9,703,000
  • Total Expenses (Estimated Through Nov. 2019): $9,698,000

Prosper Omaha 2.0

  • Investors: 204
  • 5-year Investment/Fundraised: $26,613,177 (Goal $32M)

Gallup Q12

  • 62% Overall Satisfaction

OmahaChamber.org Web Analytics

  • Page Views: 821,682

Greater Omaha Chamber Social Media Channels

  • Facebook Fans: 7,795 
  • LinkedIn Followers: 8,406
  • Twitter Followers: 15,353 

Chamber Earned Media 

  • Number of Articles/Placements: 4,190

2020 Annual Meeting Presenting Sponsors

First National Bank

First National Bank has a history of doing what’s right for our customers and the communities we serve. Independent and family-owned, we are focused on the long view instead of the next quarter, which has been our recipe for success for generations. In the 160 years we’ve been in business, First National Bank has grown to more than 4,000 employees and 102 banking locations in seven states, with $19 billion in assets. We like to think of ourselves as a “great big, small bank,” large enough to provide the expertise and resources necessary to handle any financial need, yet small enough to know you personally. Our vision is to have successful communities in all the places we operate.  We believe in and live by our core values: Integrity in every interaction. Respect for our employees, customers and shareholders. Passion for all that we do.

McGrath North

McGrath North is a business focused law firm supporting clients throughout the Midlands and the United States. We serve a broad client base that includes Fortune 500 companies, small and medium sized businesses, individuals, entrepreneurs and start-ups. The industries we serve cover a broad range of businesses including food, agriculture, commodities, industrial manufacturing, insurance, energy, financial institutions, hospitality, technology and more. We offer our clients a sophisticated, nationwide legal practice that reflects the integrity, personal attention and work ethic of the Midwest. We partner with our clients on a long term basis to help drive their success.

We are proud to be Omaha based and we appreciate the clients that we serve.

Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha was founded in 1909 with a simple purpose: to help people protect what they care about and achieve their financial goals. For more than a century, Mutual of Omaha has held true to that purpose, listening to our customers and helping them through life’s transitions by providing an array of insurance, financial and banking solutions. As one of Omaha’s Fortune 500 companies, Mutual of Omaha has deep roots in the local community. Whether working with individuals and families on their insurance needs, partnering with local businesses on their employee benefits or investing in local nonprofit organizations, we are committed to Omaha and the people and businesses that make this a special place to live and work.

Union Pacific

One of America’s most recognized companies, Union Pacific Railroad connects 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail, providing a critical link in the global supply chain. In the last 10 years, 2009-2018, Union Pacific invested approximately $34 billion in its network and operations to support America’s transportation infrastructure. The railroad’s diversified business mix is classified into its Agricultural Products, Energy, and Industrial and Premium business groups. Union Pacific serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers, operates from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways, connects with Canada’s rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major Mexico gateways. Union Pacific provides value to its roughly 10,000 customers by delivering products in a safe, reliable, fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible manner.