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Coffee & Contacts at Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market

Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market

The Greater Omaha Chamber held another morning networking event at Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market, 14949 Evans Plz., on Thursday, August 3, 2017. It was the first time Fresh Thyme had hosted this popular event, and to say it was a success is quite an understatement. Over 120 Chamber members gathered in that big, beautiful store for delicious coffee, pastries, fruit, and some fellowship. My late father, Rod, was a life-long grocer and my first boss (who remembers Safeway?), so nice grocery stores always get my attention.

Midwest Sound & Lighting is quite proud to partner with the Greater Omaha Chamber to provide clear, feedback-free audio reinforcement for Chamber events. In this very reverberant space, we used a pair of QSC 1KW K-12 powered speakers, with a seven degree downward cant, to put direct sound right into the attendees’ ears for excellent intelligibility. We also employed Shure wireless microphones and an Allen & Heath mixer.

Coffee & Contacts @ Fresh Thyme Farmer's Market

Coffee & Contacts @ Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market

Chamber President and CEO David G. Brown kicked off the morning with a hearty welcome and asked us all, “Who’s selling stuff?”, in an effort to get us all connected and doing business.

Really, all of us are selling our products, services and brands every single day, aren’t we? Networking events only work when we actually do connect with one another, and see what we can do for, and with, each other. David’s encouragement helped prod some newbies into getting their cards out and meeting some new friends/prospects. Smiles were everywhere.

Fresh Thyme store management, including Henry Moreno and Tim Taudt, each spoke briefly about their pride in Fresh Thyme and invited us all to compare prices, products and service with the stores we now patronize. They picked some business cards out of the “hat” and gave out several nice prizes, to the delight of the lucky winners.

Coffee & Contacts @ Fresh Thyme Farmer's Market

Coffee & Contacts @ Fresh Thyme Farmer’s Market

I hope to see you at the next Greater Omaha Chamber networking event, where you’ll meet new friends and business prospects.

Peace, love, out-JR

Business on the Green 2017 @ Tiburon Golf Club

Welcome to BOTG 2017!

As the sun came up Friday, June 16, Tiburon Golf Club was abuzz with activity. The occasion was “Business on the Green”, one of the Greater Omaha Chamber’s premier events. BOTG is an annual opportunity to shed tie and jacket, and trade the office and water cooler for the golf course and some cool ones.

It’s no secret that this is a fun-filled day at Tiburon, with friends, Mother Nature, good food and drink, and even a little golf. As in the past, retired Chamber legend Larry Gomez returned to emcee BOTG. Larry’s years of experience and easy-going, fun-loving attitude behind the mic sets everyone up for a wonderful day, and it’s a personal pleasure to work with my old friend again. For the morning flight, we sent them off to “How Long”, by Ace.

For the afternoon flight, Larry chose a personal favorite, “September”, by Earth, Wind, & Fire, to launch the golfers. All golfers were in high spirits as they sped off to their respective tees, with Chamber President and CEO David Brown even tossing me a peace sign as his kart headed out.

Once the karts had all left, we spun the speakers around towards the course and cranked it up to give everyone some good music to golf to. I always enjoy the comments I get about my playlist from Chamber golfers and the terrific Tiburon staff, which sometimes include song requests. It’s fun to be me, especially for BOTG!

Welcome to BOTG 2017!

Midwest Sound & Lighting was happy to again partner with the Greater Omaha Chamber for BOTG, as we are the event’s sound and music sponsor. It makes for a too-early morning for this aging rocker, but as the sun comes up, the music starts, and folks begin to arrive, I’m always glad to be involved. We used (4) 12”, all-weather JBL AWC loudspeakers, Shure wireless microphones, an Allen & Heath ZED mixer and a Crown power amp to provide crystal-clear, feedback free audio and full-bandwidth music.

Congratulations to the Greater Omaha Chamber for another splendid “Business on the Green”. See you next year!

Best wishes,

JR/MSL

CreativeMornings/Omaha June 9, 2017 – Survival

On a beautiful Friday morning in Midtown Omaha, the Greater Omaha Chamber held another session of “CreativeMornings” a world-wide celebration of life and creativity. A nice crowd of about 60 local creatives ate pastries and fruit and chugged gallons of good coffee as they assembled near the Midtown Stage. And, as usual, the Chamber’s Kim Sellmeyer and Steve Gordon welcomed us all, and before long, the hugs and high-fives were circulating throughout the crowd.

Today’s theme was Survival. Our presenter was Joey Bierman, a Senior at Wayne State College studying Marketing, who told us:

“It isn’t about what happens to you, it’s about how you react to it.”

These wise words form the credo of spinal cord injury survivor Joey Bierman, whose accident upended his goals and dreams. However, Joey didn’t stop or give in to fear. Instead he rededicated his effort toward recovery and eventually returned to school at Nebraska’s Wayne State College. Now an intern with QLI’s marketing team, Joey is guiding QLI clients toward positive, purposeful life choices. His calm demeanor, experience, and outlook continue to be assets for the rehabilitation community.

Joey’s talk was full of humor, insight, reflection and encouragement and was another big hit for CreativeMornings. We all face unexpected challenges and hurdles in life, and it helps to see how others navigate (and SURVIVE) rough water.

Midwest Sound & Lighting is a proud sponsor of CreativeMornings. We used a pair of 1KW QSC K-12 powered speakers, Shure/Countryman wireless microphones (with windscreen) and an Allen & Heath mixer to provide crisp, clean, feedback-free audio reinforcement.

Joey Bierman talks about being a survivor.

I can’t think of a better way to start a Friday than to gather with fellow Omaha creatives for some good coffee, stimulating conversation and encouragement. Please consider attending the next session; you’ll be glad you did.

I hope to see you at the next CreativeMorning.

Peace, love, out-

JR

 Mornings are Creative (and serendipitous) in Omaha

Venue for Creative Mornings

Once again, we got a stimulating jump-start on our Friday morning, thanks to the Greater Omaha Chamber’s “CreativeMornings”, a breakfast lecture series for the creative community.  The venue was the Union for Contemporary Art, 2423 N 24th St., and the topic was “Serendipity”. The coffee and donuts were good and both the subject and the company were truly inspiring. “Serendipity” was a sellout; the first in the CreativeMornings series!

The Chamber’s Kim Sellmeyer welcomed all attendees and we all got to watch Dylan Baumann, wearing a GoPro camera, make the rounds “high-fiving” everyone in the room to a timer as we watched with glee. Now, our blood was pumping, the coffee had kicked in, and we were ready to listen, think and

Good Creative Morning!

learn together.

The presenter was Katie Kemerling, Chief Marketing Officer at Ervin & Smith, an Ad Age Best Places to Work digital agency. Katie spoke excitedly of several instances of serendipity in her life that have led her to many connections, achievements and people who have had great positive impact on her path. She tries to recognize such special, unplanned, “carpe diem” moments, and advised us to be on the lookout for them in our own lives. We all can think of many moments that elevated us, inspired and intrigued us, that we didn’t see coming. To be open to serendipity, to recognize it and to act upon it, is (or should be) everyone’s goal. Katie gave us some good tips on how to be ready for it, and what to do when it hits.

When you hear stories about serendipity, they have an undertone of delight, pleasure, and sometimes profound transformation. These unforeseen, joyful accidents are often the opportunities we seek and cherish—and above all, they’re moments that we don’t forget.

Midwest Sound & Lighting is proud to partner with the Greater Omaha Chamber to bring you “CreativeMornings”. We used a single, 1KW QSC K-12 powered speaker, an Allen & Heath mixer and Shure wireless microphones to provided crystal-clear, feedback-free sound reinforcement.

My morning take-away was to always be ready for unexpected, serendipitous moments and to capitalize on them; good advice. I’ll volunteer that YOU may well have a serendipitous moment at the next “CreativeMornings” event. I hope to see you there.

Peace, Love, out-JR

 

Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce Grand Giveaway 2017-The Great Outdoors!

Welcome to The Great Outdoors; Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce’s Grand Giveaway 2017!

Sarpy Co. Chamber of Commerce Grand Giveaway 2017!

Sarpy Co. Chamber of Commerce Grand Giveaway 2017!

On Wednesday, March 29, 2017, the ballrooms at the Livestock Exchange Building were decked out with fabulous prizes and wonderful surprises. The occasion was the Grand Giveaway, the premier fund-raiser for the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce. It’s an annual excuse to get together with our fellow SCCC members to network, enjoy great food & drink, have fun and provide funding for the myriad good things the Sarpy County Chamber brings to the metro area. With sponsors and donors providing everything from lodging and vacation trips to Husker football tickets to music and sports memorabilia to golf outings with local dignitaries, this night is always a hoot.

Karen, Tom & Annisa at Sarpy Co. Chamber of Commerce Grand Giveaway 2017!

Karen, Tom & Annisa at Sarpy Co. Chamber of Commerce Grand Giveaway 2017!

Folks browsed the tables full of gifts while enjoying punch, cocktails and some background music. This year’s theme, “The Great Outdoors”, had Sarpy Co. Chamber President Karen Gibler decked out like a Park Ranger, as were the staff, Annisa, Candi, Michelle, Lisa and Celeste. Some other creative Sarpy Co. folks donned flannel shirts, fake beards and axes and became lumberjacks for the night; how fun!

Sarpy Co. Chamber of Commerce Grand Giveaway 2017!

They’re all lumberjacks and they’re OK!

After browsing the silent auction prizes, sipping a couple cocktails and eating a wonderful meal, everyone was smiling and obviously enjoying the evening as the live auction got under way. Auctioneers Martie Cordaro and Travis Castle used their quick wits and mighty powers of persuasion to cajole, squeeze, encourage and hustle ever-higher bids from the packed ballroom, sometimes entering the bidding themselves. It’s all great fun for a very good cause, of course, and the generosity and support shown by Grand Giveaway attendees is a beautiful thing to behold.

Sarpy Co. Chamber of Commerce Grand Giveaway 2017!

Sarpy Co. Chamber of Commerce Grand Giveaway 2017!

Midwest Sound & Lighting was again a proud sponsor of The Grand Giveaway, and supplied sound systems, wireless microphones and background music for the event. We used one pair of JBL VRX-932 speakers, an Allen & Heath ZED mixer, Shure wireless mics and a QSC amplifier to provided crystal-clear, feedback-free audio reinforcement for the auction and a single, 1,000 watt QSC K-8 powered speaker for background music for the silent auction browsers.

Sarpy Co. Chamber of Commerce Grand Giveaway 2017!

Auctioneers Extraordinaire Travis and Martie get the juices flowing at the live auction!

We congratulate our Sarpy County Chamber buddies on yet another terrific event and look forward to next year’s, “Grand Giveaway”.  I wonder what theme they’ll dream up for 2018…?

Peace, out-JR/MSL

The Omaha Film Festival March 7-12 at Marcus Village Pointe Cinema

IMG_8726We’d like to give a shout out to the 12th annual Omaha Film Festival held March 7-12 at Marcus Village Pointe Cinema at Village Pointe. Voted by MovieMaker magazine as one of the “50 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee,” the Omaha Film Festival exists to celebrate the artistic, educational, and historical importance of motion pictures.IMG_8729

The Festival showcases over 90 films during its annual event, selected from an average of over 500 annual entries that come in from around the world, offering a wide variety of independent cinema choices that includes regional and world premier films as well as advanced screenings of films that have already attracted wider distribution. Selected filmmakers are invited to attend the festival and are given the opportunity to discuss their films with the audience after each screening.

Midwest Sound & Lighting is again a proud sponsor of the Omaha Film Festival and encourages everyone to take advantage of this stellar, world-class entertainment event.

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