Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce Economic Outlook 2018

SCCC Economic Outlook 2018

Immanuel Village was again the site of the annual Economic Outlook Breakfast. It’s always a great opportunity to hear what’s going on in Nebraska’s fastest growing county, from agriculture, to the NRD, to roads, residential trends, and other Sarpy County developments.

The hot breakfast was delicious. After enjoying it, Angel Velitchkov spoke on his work with the Counsel for International Trade on behalf of Nebraska farmers and ranchers. Angel showed several interesting slides depicting his travels to Azerbaijan, Viet Nam, Nigeria, and many other international trading partners. He travels the world to grow Nebraska’s ag business.

SCCC Economic Outlook 2018

We also heard details about the Offutt Levee and runway repairs from John Winkler of the Papio-Missouri River NRD. Don Kelly spoke of infrastructure improvements, and Sarpy Co. Commissioner Andy Alloway discussed residential trends. We also heard Christopher Erickson talk about the LaVista City Centre, and Dave Audino spoke about Papillion’s new Data Center.

As always, The Sarpy County Chamber of Commerce’s annual Economic Outlook gave us a bit of a glimpse into what the future may hold, and brought many good people together to talk and break bread; always a good thing.

SCCC Economic Outlook 2018

Midwest Sound & Lighting is proud to provide crystal-clear, feedback-free audio reinforcement for the Economic Outlook breakfast. We again used a pair of passive, JBL VRX932 speakers, a QSC power amp, Shure wireless microphones and an Allen & Heath ZED mixer, and look forward to next year’s event.

Peace, love, out-


Greater Omaha Chamber’s Business on the Green 2018!

Business on the Green 2018

As the sun came up at Tiburon Golf Course on a beautiful Friday, June 15, the Greater Omaha Chamber’s summer highlight event was getting under way. Larry Gomez, the Chamber’s retired and revered emcee, returned to welcome golfers and direct them to registration, refreshments, Mega-Putt, and provide information, sponsor credits, and light-hearted encouragement as music filled the morning air.

The first flight took off at 7 am, after greetings and thanks from Chamber President and CEO David G. Brown, Great Western Bank’s Harlan Falk, and some brief instructions from the terrific Tiburon staff. It was all smiles as the carts made their way out to each of the 3 courses to the strains of “How Long”, by Ace.

The first flight had the welcome advantage of cooler temperatures, as the day really warmed up as it went along.  The food court was very popular, as usual, as were cold beverages. Music played throughout the morning, with everyone in a festive, fun mood.

After the 2nd flight had assembled, been greeted, and sent on their way to the greens, I took my time in the building heat, striking the (4) JBL AWC all-weather speakers, (2) Crown amplifiers, a pair of Shure wireless microphones and an Allen & Heath ZED mixer. It was getting HOT, so I alternated wrapping cables and loading speakers with retreating to the air-conditioned lounge repeatedly. All good.

Midwest Sound & Lighting is proud to provide crystal-clear, feedback-free audio reinforcement as the sound & music sponsor of the Greater Omaha Chamber’s Business on the Green. We look forward to seeing everyone again next June for the 2019 BOTG.



Peace; stay cool,


CreativeMornings/Omaha- Friday, June 8, 2018

CreativeMornings/Omaha- Friday, June 8, 2018

Jason Steady’s visual aids.

It was warm and getting warmer as a crowd of over 60 creatives gathered at Midtown Crossing for the latest installment of CreativeMornings, a global, breakfast lecture series. It was a beautiful opportunity to meet outside, with dogs and their owners playing catch in the park, and folks out walking, jogging, and generally enjoying the new day as we mingled.

Following the template of prior CreativeMornings in Omaha, Organizers Kim Sellmeyer and Steve Gordon got on the mic, welcomed all attendees, and got us up and moving with hi-fives and hugs. That got our blood pumping (coffee and rolls helped, too) and we were ready to hear Jason, the day’s presenter.

Jason Steady talk on creativity

Jason Steady is plainly quite creative. He likes to make things, from music, travelling the country with his band, to fashioning wooden birds in Japanese Origami style, to countless other, non-traditional creations. Jason had never made such wooden origami creations before, but that didn’t deter him from taking on the project. He actually “invented” an angle-finder tool to make sure everything fit and looked right, but after coming up with his own, original tool, he then discovered “angle finders” were already available.  One of the Origami birds was 9’ tall and had to be dis-assembled to move. The smaller example he showed us was simply beautiful, with its angular wings and neck. Though he had never attempted such a commissioned art project before, he put his mind to it and succeeded!

He talked about the many sides of creativity, and not letting inexperience stop him from taking on new challenges. His advice was to seek out and talk to people who’ve done what you want to do, ask them lots of questions, then fearlessly just start creating. His smile, casual, easy-going presentation style, and quick wit convinced us all that Jason was onto something. Of the many steps he goes through while creating, the finished project seems to be less fulfilling to him than the creative process itself. Such are creatives…

Jason Steady’s audience

Midwest Sound & Lighting is a proud sponsor of CreativeMornings. We used a pair of QSC, 1KW, K-12 powered speakers, an Allen & Heath ZED mixer, and Shure wireless microphones to provide crystal-clear, feedback-free sound reinforcement for this Greater Omaha Chamber event, and look forward to next month’s “CreativeMorning”.

Please join us; you’ll learn something useful.


Peace, out-


Commitment and Imperfection: CreativeMornings/Omaha Friday, May 18

CreativeMornings May 18 2018

The most recent installment of the Greater Omaha Chamber’s popular, “CreativeMornings” breakfast series was held at The Union for Contemporary Art, 2423 North 24th Street on Friday, May 18. 2018. As usual, lots of coffee and rolls were eagerly consumed by the 100 + attendees before the typical CreativeMornings “hugs & hi-fives” workout, to get us warmed up and energized.

To get us even more fired-up, Host Kim Sellmeyer and co-host Steve Gordon, Jr., got everyone involved in a raucous “rock, paper, scissors” activity that concluded with all attendees chanting the winner’s name after eliminating other contestants. It was a wild four or five minutes, and everybody was wide awake and smiling at the exercise’s conclusion; ready for the morning’s presentation.

CreativeMornings Hugs & Hi-Fives!

The subject was, “100 Days: Lessons in Commitment and Imperfection”, presented by Karen Borchert. Karen helps growing companies accomplish incredible work with amazing teams. Currently, Karen is the Chief Operations Officer at Flywheel, a fast-growing software company with operations and teams across the globe. Karen shared her experience and insight into goal-setting, seeking perfection, and associated problems, citing several entertaining personal anecdotes, examples, and potential traps to avoid.

Commitment seems to have no greater enemy than imperfection, especially for those of us who love a beautiful final product, unmarred by mistakes or flaws. Karen’s talk was about the mindset of commitment and perfectionism, and how to let imperfection in, once and for all, in order to create something incredible.

Karen told us that she loves goal-setting, and has learned to adjust on the fly to make continual progress, regardless of unexpected obstacles, setbacks or delays. It’s obvious that she is in a very good place in her life, which made her presentation all the more impactful.

CreativeMornings May 18 2018 Karen Borchert speaks to the attendees

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one glad to hear that others struggle with goal-setting and avoiding crippling perfectionism, while still seeking excellence. By the mood in the room, many heads nodding in agreement, and the energy flowing, the subject engaged us all. Karen gave us all permission to be imperfect, and to modify our goals, while constantly moving forward.

As a proud sponsor of CreativeMornings/Omaha, Midwest Sound & Lighting used a pair of QSC 1KW K-12 powered speakers, an Allen & Heath ZED mixer, and Shure wireless microphones to provide crystal-clear, feedback-free sound reinforcement.

To sum things up, it was another very stimulating CreativeMorning in Omaha. These events are very worthwhile IMHO, free of charge, and will charge you up for free. We hope to see you next month.


Stay creative and keep learning,

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