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Gross Catholic High School Trivia Night 2017

GHS gym before Trivia Night 2017

GHS gym before Trivia Night 2017

On Saturday, February 18, Gross Catholic High School faculty, parents, alums, and friends convened in the gymnasium for the annual “Trivia Night” fund-raising event. This popular gathering helps support the mission of Gross H.S. and, judging from the crowd and their smiles and laughter throughout the contest, was another tremendous success.

Get your tickets!

Get your tickets!

Coordinator Coach Tim Johnk and his many Cougar Trivia Night helpers have got this event down. Take a bunch of trivia questions in several diverse categories (sports, news, pop culture, music, school), invite over 600 good friends over, have lots of good food and drink and raise some money for Gross High School. Top it off by having Gross grad and Husker sports air personality Sean Callahan as the evening’s Emcee. What’s not to like?

GHS Trivia Night crowd

GHS Trivia Night crowd

Midwest Sound & Lighting is a proud sponsor of Trivia Night. We’ve all heard how gymnasiums sound, right? They are very challenging venues for clear voice reproduction and intelligibility. Remember, this is a trivia contest; everyone must hear and understand the questions for the event to happen…

How’d it go, you might ask?

Happy Cougar supporters on Trivia Night

Happy Cougar supporters on Trivia Night

Well, a splendid time was had by all. Here are some statistics:  675 people attended and consumed delicious food, over 1500 glasses of Margaritas and 19 kegs of beer. The end result: over $30,000 raised! Nice job, Cougars.

In Coach Johnk’s own words, We couldn’t do it without…Midwest Sound & Lighting! The sound system brings the entire night to life. We know that by using Midwest Sound & Lighting that we have nothing to worry about when it comes to the sound! Thanks so much!” 

Good fun in the Gross HS Gym!

Good fun in the Gross HS Gym!

It’s our pleasure, Tim. As in years before, we employed (4) JBL VRX-932 full-range loudspeakers, QSC amplification, Shure wireless microphones and a Yamaha mixer.  Add over 600 Cougar supporters, mix well and enjoy! Thanks to Jim Homan for the pics.

Congratulations to the Gross Catholic High School Cougars on another stellar “Trivia Night”.

Cougar fun on Trivia Night!

Cougar fun on Trivia Night!

 

Peace, love, out-

JR/MSL

Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce Rush Hour Connections at North End Teleservices

North End Teleservices celebrates 1 year in business with Rush Hour Connections.

North End Teleservices celebrates 1 year in business with Rush Hour Connections.

On Thursday, November 17, Rush Hour Connections, a very popular, after-work Chamber networking event, was held at North End Teleservices. Located near 24th and Hamilton Streets, North End Teleservices’ one-year anniversary coincided with hosting Rush Hour Connections, and they made the most of it.

Upon arriving at North End Teleservices, I was looking for the entrance when Demi saw me and welcomed me in with bright eyes and a warm smile. That set the tone for the event, because everyone associated with North End Teleservices was beyond professionally courteous; you could tell they were actually friendly and engaging folks.

North End Teleservices has values that guide the company

North End Teleservices has values that guide the company

North End Teleservices is an omni-channel service provider, offering 24/7 inbound and outbound voice, chat, email, sms, social media and back-office support services. The entry and foyer are new, spacious, and attractive, and the company’s values are the first thing you see as you enter; a nice touch, IMHO.

President and CEO Carmen Tapio graciously welcomed Chamber attendees, gave a quick history and description of North End Teleservices and led a tour though the business as everyone mingled, exchanged business cards and enjoyed delicious appetizers from Patricia Catering. Beer, wine and other beverages were plentiful and the mood was appropriately celebratory, as Carmen, Demi, Hailey and other North End Teleservices staff cheerfully greeted and chatted with attendees.

Demi makes a great first impression for North End Teleservices at RHC

Demi makes a great first impression for North End Teleservices at RHC

I couldn’t help but notice the cut-out hand silhouettes on Carmen’s door. They were obviously hand-made and each had a few lines of praise (in longhand) for the President/CEO and the business itself. Such open appreciation and fellowship in a company bodes very well. I’ll bet North End Teleservices is here for the long haul and will continue to provide superior service to clients.

Midwest Sound & Lighting was happy to provide sound reinforcement, wireless microphones and background music for Rush Hour Connections at North End Teleservices.everyone a very happy Thanksgiving and holiday season.the-door-to-president-and-ceo-carmen-tapio-office

 

Best wishes,

JR/MSL

CreativeMornings in Omaha and around the world

creative-mornings CreativeMornings in Omaha and around the world

Omaha has officially been accepted into the CreativeMornings community and joins 157 other cities across the globe. CreativeMornings is a breakfast lecture series and will serve as a new outlet for our city to be recognized on a global scale, adding to Omaha’s strong arts and culture scene and growing reputation.

Kim Sellmeyer, creative director for the Greater Omaha Chamber and Steve Gordon, brand architect and founder of RDQLUS Creative serve as co-hosts for the Omaha chapter. Sellmeyer’s desire for Omaha to become a CreativeMornings community came from the We Don’t Coast brand building process and the need for our community to have a place where creatives could come together to collaborate. Kim was inspired, got busy, and assembled a team to make it happen in Omaha.kim-sellemeyer-greets-creative-morning-attendees

When Kristy Fortenbury, also of the Greater Omaha Chamber, reached out to Midwest Sound & Lighting to ask if we’d be willing to partner with the Chamber on CreativeMornings and introduced me to Kim, we agreed before we really knew what we were getting into. I’m sure glad we did.

creative-morning-mantrasOn Friday, November 11, 2016, well over one hundred “creatives” gathered at Hot Shops to kick off CreativeMornings, a unique networking event sponsored by the Greater Omaha Chamber. I have attended dozens of Chamber events; none like CreativeMornings.As things got underway, Kim introduced Tiziana Green from TD Ameritrade, an Italian-American, who helped us all greet other creatives gathered in Rome, by saying “Hello from Omaha, we love Rome!” in Italian to our Italian counterparts.

Kim was a warm and welcoming emcee, and, after encouraging us all to hug or high-five our fellow attendees, introduced featured presenter Dean Jacobs, a world-traveler, photographer, speaker, committed “creative”, and Wahoo, NE native.

world-traveler-dean-jacobs-at-creative-morningsIn his presentation, Dean took us around the world a few times, re-tracing his journeys via maps and power-point presentation and related incredible stories about being a solo world-traveler who found himself with silver-back gorillas, at base camp on Mount Everest, chasing forgotten bags on a motor scooter, and many other adventures. Dean urged us all to follow our dreams, and to make them realities, as he had done. For more about Dean and his travels, check out: www.deanjacobs.org.

I have rarely been in the company of more creativity than Omaha’s inaugural “CreativeMornings”. I look forward to the next one with great anticipation. I’d say the sky’s the limit, but I think there may be no limits at all on Omaha’s creativity. See you December 9th at Omaha’s next “CreativeMornings”.creative-mornings-in-omaha

Jackie Hegarty Retirement Party held at Security National Bank

how-long-did-jackie-work-for-the-chamber

28,927,284 minutes, 482,074 hours, 20,086 days, 2,869 weeks, 660 months or, in simpler measure, 55 years. That’s how long Jackie Hegarty has worked at the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce, reliably answering questions and phones, helping all sorts of folks positively inter-act with the Chamber in countless ways, and being, as Chamber President and CEO David G. Brown said with a smile, “Director of First Impressions”. Put simply, Jackie is a gem!

Jackie’s seen and done it all in her tenure at the Chamber. Recently retired Chamber icon Larry Gomez (who gladly returned to emcee Jackie’s party) ran down a few choice stories about Jackie, including tales of giving directions to folks leaving Eppley Airfield in rental cars on how to get to the Chamber office and drive by Warren Buffett’s house on the way.  We all know, Warren’s house is not “on the way”, but that didn’t stop Jackie from giving said directions and making new friends for Omaha.two-chamber-legends

When Larry Gomez joined the Chamber, back in 1976, he was told, “Just ask Jackie” when he needed some information. Jackie had already been
employed by the Chamber for fifteen years when Larry came on board! Larry retired in March of 2013, but was tickled to come and help us honor his old friend and cohort, and was on top of his game, to the delight of Jackie and all attendees.

David G. Brown, obviously enjoying the occasion, carried a nice, plush chair to the front of the room so Jackie could be comfortably seated to hear her praises sung by her colleagues and friends. Tim Stuart, from the Chamber’s Legislative Counsel, read a statement from Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts, proclaiming Jackie to be an Admiral of the Navy of the Great State of Nebraska, which drew much applause. Omaha City Councilman Pete Festersen read the City Council’s proclamation stating that Thursday, October 20th, 2016 was “Jackie Hegarty Day” in Omaha, which also drew enthusiastic applause.

david-g-brown-praises-jackie-hegarty-on-her-retirementVideo clips rolled throughout the party, with some great shots of Jackie’s storied career and various Chamber events and celebrations. Beyond the obvious love and gratitude so many expressed to Jackie for her five and one-half decades of superlative service, there was plenty of hosted wine, beer and La Casa pizza for all to enjoy.

I have been involved in countless Chamber functions in the last 10 years and Jackie’s retirement party was among the most fun events I’ve attended. Really.

Midwest Sound & Lighting was happy to help sponsor Jackie’s retirement party by providing sound reinforcement and background music. We used an Allen & Heath ZED mixer, Shure wireless microphones and QSC K-12 powered speakers to provide crystal-clear audio without a trace of feedback. We congratulate and thank Jackie Hegarty for her fifty-five years of outstanding service to the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce and wish her the very best that retirement has to offer.jackie-photo-board

Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Celebration 2016

Embassy Suites/La Vista Convention Center was again the venue for the SCCC’s Annual Awards Celebration. The event highlights the best and most progressive businesses and non-profits in Nebraska’s fastest-growing county.

SCCC Annual Awards

SCCC Annual Awards

Following a warm welcome from Chamber President Karen Gibler and invocation from John Collard, attendees enjoyed a delicious meal with hosted wine from Soaring Wings Vineyards.

Following dinner, the Board of Directors of the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce were recognized, as were Chamber President Karen Gibler and staffers Annisa, Michelle & Lisa. Thanks were also directed at departing board members Lori Bickford and Sue Mohr.

SCCC Awards Partners

SCCC Awards Partners

Ben Harms of Archrival at SCCC Awards

Ben Harms of Archrival at SCCC Awards

Outgoing board chair, Alan Kennedy, shared remarks about his tenure, goals and progress, including 84% membership renewals (80% is industry standard) and introduced Ben Harms from Archrival. Archrival was hired to do a chamber and county assessment, and Ben’s report on current trends and culture was eye-opening and fascinating.

Following the detailed presentation from Archrival, this year’s Chamber Excellence Honorees were called to the stage and recognized for their dedication and work on the Chamber’s behalf. Honorees included Allison Malone, Greg London, Jason Olson, Karissa Williams, Keri Kasun, Lance Beasley, Lois Erickson, Matt Roarty & SignIT, Sarah Bernhagen & John A Gentlemen and Tom Kerfoot.

SCCC Award

SCCC Award

SCCC Awards partners 2

SCCC Awards partners 2

The evening then focused on awards to be presented for New or Emerging Business of the Year (Twisted Vine), Non-profit of the Year (Tri-City Food Pantry), Business of the Year 1-24 employees (Microtel Inn & Suites), and Business of the Year 25+ employees (Fareway Stores).

More awards followed, including a tie for Business Leader of the Year (Chris Johnson and Jolene Roberts) and the Chamber Excellence Awards (Matt Roarty and Tom Kerfoot).

Incoming Chair Lowell Ferguson graciously thanked the Chamber staff and congratulated all involved with SCCC groups and events like TIPs groups, monthly networking events, the Golf Tournament and The Grand Giveaway. 

SCCC Award 2016

SCCC Award 2016

Midwest Sound & Lighting was again proud to partner with the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce and provide crystal-clear, feedback-free audio for the Awards Celebration.  We congratulate SCCC for another great year and look forward to 2017.

Karen Gibler, Alan Kennedy, Alan Stoltenberg and Chris Johnson

Karen Gibler, Alan Kennedy, Alan Stoltenberg and Chris Johnson

Midwest mix position for SCCC Annual Awards

Midwest mix position for SCCC Annual Awards

Carstens 1880 Farmstead, Inc. “Farm Days 2016” September 11th & 12th.

Carstens Farm Days 2016

Welcome to Farm Days

Welcome to Farm Days

Carstens 1880 Farmstead, Inc. hosted the 34th annual Farm Days over the weekend of September 11th & 12th, 2016 at the Carstens Farm, near Shelby, Iowa. The goal of the organization is to preserve and celebrate Iowa’s farm history and, towards that goal, Farm Days includes many traditional Iowa farming practices and activities.

Flags and farm power at Carstens

Flags and farm power at Carstens

With rows of US flags proudly waving in the wind, attendees pulled into the farmstead to see dozens and dozens of classic tractors (and many classic cars) lined up neatly and food, craft and antique vendors scattered about the grounds between the well-maintained farm home, barns, corn crib and other out-buildings. Many folks came with campers, which became a small community of friends parked in a pasture throughout the weekend.

carstens-farm-day-parade

carstens-farm-day-parade

There were blacksmithing, corn-picking and –shelling, hay baling, threshing, sawmill, weaving and other interesting field demonstrations and a terrific parade of classic tractors, including rare antique models, steam engines and miniature, home-made models. I enjoyed hearing Emcee/Announcer Harvey Ferris read interesting details and trivia about the tractors, implements, their owners and history as each passed the reviewing stand.

antique-john-deere-with-rear-bucket-loader

antique-john-deere-with-rear-bucket-loader

The kids also had a pedal-powered tractor pull and there was lots of delicious food with home-made ice cream for dessert. Beyond the farm activities, other entertainment included The Foggy Mountain Cloggers, The River City Shakers and the Tamie Hall Band.

antique-farmall-tractor

antique-farmall-tractor

My wife, Barb, accompanied me to Farm Days on Saturday and we both enjoyed the afternoon tremendously. I think her favorite part was chatting with Leora, who was operating a loom while we both watched intently as she skillfully wove before our very eyes.

loom-with-lots-of-moving-parts

loom-with-lots-of-moving-parts

Having spent a huge part of my youth on a farm, this is among my favorite annual productions to set up. This year, Midwest Sound & Lighting employed a Yamaha powered mixer, JBL MP415 speakers, a TOA mixer/amplifier for the distributed sound system and a pair of MiPro MA-series battery-powered personal PA systems for the farm tours. By all accounts, Farm Day 2016 was fantastic!

Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce “Generates” excitement at trade show

Generate Part Deux held at Ramada Plaza August 22nd.

Not your dad's trade show...GENERATE!

Not your dad’s trade show…GENERATE!

Last year, the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce phased out the long-standing “Buy the Big O! Show” in favor of “Generate”, a rather unconventional trade show with lots of interaction, participation and pizzazz. This was year two, and Tuesday, August 22nd had quite a buzz about it.

Generate uplighting by Midwest Sound & Lighting

Generate uplighting by Midwest Sound & Lighting

“Generate” is a refreshing, new way to showcase your company’s goods and services, and by the size of the crowd and the smiles on the faces of attendees, this year’s show was another great success.

We don't coast!

We don’t coast!

The ballrooms at The Ramada Plaza were overflowing with exhibitors, vendors, and Chamber members who played games, sampled wares and networked, while enjoying delicious food and drinks.

Small, illuminated drones flew around the room as folks networked and generally just enjoyed the afternoon. I really liked the “Rube Goldberg” machine that Aqua Systems of Nebraska’s Eric Schnakenberg built and let me play with. I rolled a few marbles down a long trough with a turn-around, a lever, some rope, a pitcher and a clothespin in order to fill a glass with water. It reminds vintage folks like me of a favorite childhood board game, “Chutes & Ladders”. I rolled just a few marbles down and, voila; it worked!

Generate uplighting by Midwest Sound & Lighting

Generate uplighting by Midwest Sound & Lighting

Generate attendees listen to President and CEO David G. Brown address the crowd

Generate attendees listen to President and CEO David G. Brown address the crowd

A newly-bearded David G. Brown, President and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber, greeted attendees, thanked sponsors and roamed the Ramada Plaza, taking in the event. All attendees I spoke with echoed my personal opinion that the event is getting traction and has grown significantly in its second year, boding very well for the future of “Generate”

Midwest Sound & Lighting is proud to partner with The Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce to help illuminate “Generate” with special lighting. We congratulate the Chamber with a hearty, “Well done”. See you next year at “Generate”!




 

Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce Economic Outlook 2016

On Tuesday morning, August 9th, the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce held its annual Economic Outlook breakfast at Trinity Village in Papillion.

MCC Exec VP Jim Grotrian at the podium

MCC Exec VP Jim Grotrian at the podium

Following a delicious breakfast, opening remarks by Sarpy County’s Fred Uhe and invocation by Pastor Erik Boye, emcee Uhe proceeded to welcome attendees and introduced a series of outstanding presenters, including Jim Grotrian of Metro Community College, Courtney Dentlinger, NE Dep’t. of Economic Development, UNO’s Cathy Lang, Renee Fry and Tiffany Seibert-Joekel of the Open Sky Policy Institute and Sarah Moylan of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce.

Cathy Lang shares her thoughts at SCCC Economic Outlook

Cathy Lang shares her thoughts at SCCC Economic Outlook

Topics addressed spanned MCC’s role in Economic Development, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, Nebraska Tax Policy, and Workforce Development. A power point presentation augmented each segment and displayed interesting facts, figures and statistics to reinforce each speaker’s talk.

Sarah Moylan of Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce illustrates an issue at the SCCC Economic Outlook

Sarah Moylan of Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce illustrates an issue at the SCCC Economic Outlook

The Economic Outlook breakfast was quite informative and insightful, and attendees paid close attention to each presenter and participated in Q & A sessions following each presentation.

Midwest Sound & Lighting provided A/V support for the event and is a proud sponsor of the Economic Outlook breakfast. We congratulate the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce and all attendees on another successful and informative glimpse into the business going on now and in the future in Nebraska’s fastest-growing county.

Family Fare Supermarkets Grand Opening Events July 20-23!

Welcome to Family Fare Grand Opening!

Welcome to Family Fare Grand Opening!

On Wednesday, July 21, 2016, Family Fare Supermarkets celebrated eight store grand openings simultaneously in the Omaha metro area. From July 20th through July 23rd, Family Fare is ramping up with tons of prizes, giveaways, promotions, demos and even an appearance from the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile!  Among the many giveaways were baskets of food and goodies to nearby Omaha Police Department precincts. (BTW, your Family Fare purchases generate $.10/gallon discount codes at area Quik Trip convenience stores, adding significant value to your Family Fare card. Multiple discount codes can be used together for even greater gas discounts).

Family Fare Supermarkets Grand Opening celebration

Family Fare Supermarkets Grand Opening celebration

After welcoming remarks by store manager Julie Janulewicz, an Honor Guard was on hand to raise Old Glory at the 90th & Fort store, and we all recited the Pledge of Allegiance as our flag was raised. The temperature was hot and getting hotter, so festivities went inside the beautifully remodeled store which was nice and cool. At this posting, many Family Fare specials and events are yet to come, so don’t miss out.

Honor Guard raises Old Glory at Family Fare Grand Opening!

Honor Guard raises Old Glory at Family Fare Grand Opening!

Midwest Sound & Lighting welcomes these eight new Family Fare supermarkets to the Omaha business community and thanks Family Fare for allowing Midwest Sound & Lighting to provide reliable sound systems and wireless microphones for each grand opening and for other Family Fare Grand Opening events.

Basket of goodies for OPD at Family Fare Grand Opening

Basket of goodies for OPD at Family Fare Grand Opening

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Independence Day!

On behalf of everyone here at Midwest Sound & Lighting in Omaha and Lincoln, we wish you all a safe and happy Independence Day.

We thank our Founding Fathers and every U.S. Veteran for their service and sacrifice that allows all Americans to enjoy the great blessing of freedom. God Bless America!

Midwest Sound & Lighting's photo.