Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce Grand Giveaway 2018

SCCC Grand Giveaway

The beautiful, new, Beardmore Event Center was the venue for this year’s Grand Giveaway, held on Thursday evening, March 29th, 2018. The

“50’s/60’s Sockhop” theme was everywhere, from the cool, “Pink Ladies” jackets that Karen, Annisa and the other SCCC staff were sporting, to the giant 33 and 45 rpm records on the wall, to the background music I spun; from The Beatles, to Elvis, Dion, the Platters and more…

Many, many unique, useful and valuable prizes were auctioned off by auctioneers Tom Kerfoot and Martie Cordaro. Those two fellows kept things light, up-tempo, and fun- and got bids! I think Tom and Martie could get top dollar from an Eskimo for a block of ice…nice job, guys!

SCCC Grand Giveaway

It is my understanding that this was the most successful and well-attended Grand Giveaway yet, a tribute to the hard work and dedication of the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce. Folks started arriving at about 5 pm to inspect the auction items (and enjoy the delicious house cocktails), and we all enjoyed a delicious meal together. True to form and past events, the Grand Giveaway was over at about 9 pm, with many attendees lingering to enjoy a little more fellowship and fun.

Midwest Sound & Lighting is happy to partner with our good friends in the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce. We employed a single pair of phenomenal, compact JBL VRX-932 speakers, driven by a XS 1200 Crown amplifier, with an Allen & Heath ZED mixer and two Shure wireless microphones to provide pleasant, intelligible, distortion/feedback-free audio reinforcement for the ballroom. I think everyone in the ballroom heard every word spoken into the mics clearly; at least that was my goal.

SCCC Grand Giveaway

Congratulations to the Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce on another wonderful event! See you next year.

Peace, out,


Gross Catholic High School Trivia Night 2018

On Saturday, February 10, 2018, the gymnasium at Gross Catholic High School was decked out with 76 colorful tables of 8-10 chairs each, with plentiful food and drink for some 750 pumped-up Trivia players. Trivia Night is one of Gross’s biggest fund raisers, and this year’s edition sold out in just days, with folks still on a waiting list for any cancellations right up to the night of the event. To attend Trivia Night is to understand its popularity, with countless old and new friends enjoying good food and fellowship, all to further Gross High’s mission of Catholic education.

GHS Trivia Night 2018

Husker Air Personality and Gross HS alum, Sean Callahan

As in years past, popular Husker air personality Sean Callahan, a GHS alum, was Emcee for the event. Questions ranged from famous Nebraskans, state flags, types of cars by logos,  to music and The Office. Lots of great prizes were raffled off, and, as usual, Cougar Spirit was bubbling everywhere.

Midwest Sound & Lighting again used two pairs of the phenomenal JBL VRX-932 speakers, a couple Shure wireless microphones and a Yamaha mixer to provide crystal-clear, feedback free sound for the event, even in a very reverberant gym. Midwest Sound & Lighting is happy to sponsor Trivia Night, and congratulates the Gross High Cougars on another fabulous, fun, fund-raiser.

Dux Esto, indeed!

Coffee & Contacts at Bold Office Solutions

Bold Office Solutions Coffee & Contacts

Bold Office Solutions Coffee & Contacts

Thursday morning, December 7th, dawned seasonably chilly, but once Coffee & Contacts got underway at Bold Office Solutions, 4526 F St., things warmed right up inside. Thanks to Scooter’s Coffee and the delicious muffins and other baked goods, everybody got their day off to a great start.

Bold Office Solutions Coffee & Contacts

Bold Office Solutions featuring Scooter’s delicious coffee and baked goods!

Jay and Joe, of Bold Office Solutions, and Breanne and Josie, from Scooters, all thanked us for coming out on a cold morning to learn about their companies and to network. They were all good presenters with a handheld microphone, too; a real plus for your friendly sound man.

I took the opportunity to try out most of the different kinds of business chairs, couches and stools on display, and found several really, really nice, unique, comfortable models that were stylish and very functional. Many even had AC power and USB ports, making them uber-convenient for businesses. Stop in soon, and see what Bold Office Solutions can do to help YOU create a more productive, healthier and happier workplace.

Midwest Sound & Lighting is proud to partner with the Greater Omaha Chamber and provide crystal-clear, feedback free sound reinforcement for Coffee & Contacts. We used a single, 1KW QSC K-12 powered speaker and Shure wireless microphones, which are very popular items from our vast Rental Department

Bold Office Solutions Coffee & Contacts

Jay of Bold Office Solutions welcomes Coffee & Contacts attendees.

Happy Holidays from all of us Midwest-erners to you and yours,


Midwest Sound & Lighting Annual All-Company Meeting held in Omaha store

Midwest Sound & Lighting/Omaha

On Wednesday, November 8, 2017, all available Midwest Sound & Lighting employees gathered at the Omaha location for our annual meeting. We don’t get to see each other often enough.  Though our Lincoln store is less than an hour away, it can sometimes be challenging to keep the lines of communication clear and open, and keep everyone on the same page. The yearly all-company meeting lets us relax, talk, break bread together, meet new hires, and enhance intra-company good will.

The morning started with gallons of coffee, piles of bagels and rolls, and a very inspiring presentation by David G. Brown, the President and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce. It only took David a couple “Good Mornings” to get us to respond with sufficient gusto, after which he launched into his presentation.

Omaha showroom

David spoke to the need to create an atmosphere of empathy, respect and good communication at the workplace, something that doesn’t automatically occur. David shared amazing stories of obstacles to communication and cooperation, and how, once everyone is aware of and buys into the company vision and mission, many shared goals can be reached.

A big part of successful business communication is separating our personal relationships from the day-to-day issues we face at work, and addressing specific problems directly with those affected by our workplace actions. His story regarding the Olympic Torch Run to the Atlanta Games was a study in how to navigate sensitive issues, find common ground, solve problems, and work together to get the job done. David held everyone’s undivided attention, and his insightful, inspiring message seemed to resonate with all of us. Midwest Sound & Lighting is profoundly grateful to David G. Brown and the Greater Omaha Chamber for the limitless support we have enjoyed since joining and partnering with the Chamber a decade ago.

Fired up from David’s presentation, we went outside for the ever-challenging photograph of the entire crew. “Herding cats” might best be how to describe Tess, our photographer, as she put us in our places. Truthfully, few of us like being photographed, and nobody likes looking into the sun…

Midwest Sound & Lighting crew at Annual Meeting.

Following a delicious, Hy-Vee catered hot lunch, department heads then gathered in the conference room to further discuss the challenges and opportunities we face today and in the future, which range from consumer buying trends, to FCC wireless mic regulations, to contemporary marketing techniques, and much more.

Midwest Sound & Lighting is a proud, family-owned business, and a big, extended family unto ourselves. As with all businesses (and families), we face a few challenges, but, overall, the future’s so bright we gotta wear shades!

Peace, Love, out-



Greater Omaha Chamber Coffee & Contacts at Outlook Nebraska

Chamber Coffee & Contacts at Outlook Nebraska

Chamber Coffee & Contacts at Outlook Nebraska

At 7:30 am on Thursday, October 12, 2017, several dozen Chamber members gathered at Outlook Nebraska for “Coffee & Contacts”, the popular, long-running Chamber morning networking event. As everyone assembled over fresh fruit, mini-muffins, sweet donut holes, fruit juice and, of course, COFFEE, we learned about the mission of Outlook Nebraska. Outlook Nebraska, 4125 S 72nd St., intends to positively impact everyone who is blind or visually impaired, and is making a daily difference in many, many lives.

Greater Omaha Chamber President and CEO David Brown greeted us all and wished us a good morning. When we were a bit weak in our initial response, David smiled, repeated his enthusiastic greeting, and got the hearty, robust “Good Morning” he was looking for, and we were under way.

Chamber Coffee & Contacts at Outlook Nebraska

Chamber Coffee & Contacts at Outlook Nebraska

David introduced a brief clip highlighting various success stories of visually-handicapped people finding assistance, training, and employment through Outlook Nebraska. Outlook Nebraska’s own Rachel then took the mic and told attendees a bit of her story and, with David, drew a few prize winners from the collected business cards. Many attendees toured the facility, and we all were impressed by Outlook Nebraska, their mission and their people.

Midwest Sound & Lighting is a proud partner with the Chamber and provided crystal-clear, feedback-free sound reinforcement using a pair of 1KW QSC K-12 speakers, an Allen & Heath mixer, and Shure wireless microphones. We congratulate Outlook Nebraska and look forward to the next Chamber networking event.

Peace, love, out-

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,


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-


 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